Emerging and Innovative Technologies


397228 - Microbial biosensors for early detection of oil spills

Monday, June 4
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: Lakeshore C
Co-Authors: Hariteja Nandimandalam, Mississippi – Mississippi State University

Marine environments are constantly exposed to smaller oil releases which represent a major fraction of the total quantity of petroleum hydrocarbons entering the aquatic environment Early detection of small oil leaks or spills can help avoid occurrences of major spills, thus eliminating environmental disasters related to marine environments and coastal communities. Organic contaminant sensors are difficult to employ under certain settings due to the material‐ or function‐related limitations. In this research, a microbial biosensor cell was developed exploiting the benefits of microbial biodiversity and their metabolic functions. The biosensor is essentially created using exoelectrogenic bacteria in an anode that survive on organic matter and a photo‐ or autotrophic, or sulfur reducing bacterial consortium in the cathode which will enable continuous transfer of electrons from one compartment (anode) to the other (cathode). This will create a voltage across a resistor which can be detected to identify possible contamination. The microbial biosensor cell will generate high voltage spikes when availability of organic compounds increases. In this study, a variety of hydrocarbons were used as substrates to understand the voltage generation potentials and to optimize and stabilize the sensor operations. We will discuss the development of millimeter‐scale microbial biosensor suitable for marine/soil/surface environmental settings and their performance using different combinations of exoelectrogenic and auto‐, phototrophic‐microbial consortiums in terms of voltage generation potentials using various hydrocarbon and petroleum based compounds under the influence of environmental stressors including pH, water depth, temperatures and substrate/nutrient concentrations.

Hariteja Nandimandalam, BS

Graduate Research Student
Mississippi State University


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Veera Gnaneswar Gude, PhD, P.E., BCEE, M. ASCE

Associate Professor
Mississippi State University

Dr. Gude is a faculty member of civil and environmental engineering department at Mississippi State University. He has degrees in chemical (BS) and environmental engineering (MS, PhD) disciplines. He has over 15 years of academic, industrial, and research experience in various chemical and environmental engineering projects. Dr. Gude is the chair and board representative for American Solar Energy Society’s (ASES) Clean Energy and Water (CEW) Division. He has published over 125 scholarly publications in highly regarded discipline specific journals, peer-reviewed conference proceedings and invited book chapters in desalination, biofuels and water research areas. He is a scientific and technical reviewer for over 100 international journals, book publishers, several national and international research funding agencies and editor/editorial board member for 5 international journals. He is a licensed professional engineer in the state of New Mexico and a board certified environmental engineer (BCEE, also known as Diplomate of Environmental Engineering, DEE) by the American Academy of Environmental engineers and Scientists (AAEES). His teaching and student scholarly mentoring activities also received national (USA) recognition through numerous awards.


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397228 - Microbial biosensors for early detection of oil spills

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