Disclosed are methods using neutral red to mediate the interconversion of chemical and electrical energy. Electrically reduced neutral red has been found to promote cell growth and formation of reduced products by reversibly increasing the ratio of the reduced:oxidized forms of NAD(H) or NADP(H). Electrically reduced neutral red is able to serve as the sole source of reducing power for microbial cell growth. Neutral red is also able to promote conversion of chemical energy to electrical energy by facilitating the transfer of electrons from microbial reducing power to a fuel cell cathode.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with U.S. Government support in the form of the United States Department of Energy grant DE-FG02-93ER20108. The United States may have certain rights in this invention.