Raising the penetration of renewable —an intermittent—sources of energy into the grid will require large scale electrical energy storage and retrieval. However, at present, no existing technology provides such storage and retrieval at a low financial and environmental cost. A team at Cornell University is now suggesting that engineered electroactive microbes could address many of the limitations of current energy storage technologies by enabling rewired carbon fixation—a process that spatially separates reactions that are normally carried out together in a photosynthetic cell and replaces the least efficient with non-biological equivalents. If successful, this could allow storage of renewable electricity through electrochemical or enzymatic fixation of carbon dioxide and subsequent storage as carbon-based energy storage molecules including hydrocarbons and non-volatile polymers at high efficiency. In an open-access paper published in the Journal of Biological Engineering , the team compiles performance data on biological and non-biological component choices for rewired carbon […]