Implicit interaction of electroactive microbes with solid electrodes is an interesting phenomenon in nature, which supported development of bioelectrochemical systems (BESs), especially the microbial fuel cell (MFCs) for valorization of low-value waste streams into bioelectricity. Intriguingly, the metabolism of interacted microbes with electrode is affected by the microenvironment at electrodes, which influences the current response. For instance, when heavy metal ions (HMIs) are imposed in the medium, the current production decreases due to their intrinsic toxic effect. This event provides an immense opportunity to utilize MFC as a sensor to selectively detect HMIs in the environment, which has been explored vastly in recent decade. In this review, we have concisely discussed the microbial interaction with electrodes and mechanism of detection of HMIs using an MFC. Recent advancement in sensing elements and their application is elaborated with a future perspective section for follow-up research and development in this field.
- Bioelectrochemical systems
- Heavy metal ions
- Microbe-electrode interaction
- Microbial fuel cell