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Abhijeet Borole

Research Scientist in the Biosciences Division, ORNL


Dr. Abhijeet P. Borole is a Research Scientist in the Biosciences Division at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He received his B.E. in chemical engineering from Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, University of Mumbai, India (formerly UDCT) and M.S. in chemical engineering from University of Tulsa, OK. He did his Ph.D. work at the Amoco Research Center while earning his doctorate at the University of Tulsa. He did a postdoctoral fellowship at Oak Ridge National Laboratory via Oak Ridge Associated Universities from 1997 to 2000. In 2001, he joined the Chemical Technology Division at ORNL as part of the Biochemical Engineering Research Group. At ORNL he initially worked in the area of biodesulfurization and bioreactor development. His research was primarily focused on microbial and enzyme catalysis for development of clean fuels from fossil resources. Since 2007, he has spear-headed an effort in the area of microbial fuel cells and has developed a number of patents and processes for generating bioenergy from waste and biomass. He is currently part of the Biosciences Division at ORNL. He has collaborated with most major energy companies including ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, Chevron, Texaco, Unocal, as well as small producers via WFO and CRADA projects. His interests lie at the interface of biology and engineering and are multi-disciplinary with expertise in biocatalysis, electrochemical engineering and biochemical engineering. He has worked on developing technologies for enabling water reuse, sustainable biofuel production, bioremediation and bioprocessing. His core expertise is in the area of microbial electrosynthesis, electrolysis and biofuel cells. His current efforts cover water-energy nexus issues spanning from the biorefinery and bioenergy industry to the oil and gas industry. He has served as session chair on topics related to bioenergy and industrial bioprocessing at several international conferences. He has authored two books, 45 peer-reviewed publications and four patents. He holds a Joint Faculty Appointment in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department and a Senior Research Scientist position at the Center for Environmental Biotechnology at UTK. He has been nominated for Discover Award and Biology Award from BioMed Central, He serves on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Microbial and Biochemical Technology and Journal of Renewable Energy.


Hydrogen production in thermochemical biorefineries from pyrolysis-derived aqueous phase via microbial electrolysis to improve hydrogen, carbon and separations efficiency.

Desalination of brackish water and produced water derived from hydraulic fracturing and other oil and gas operations via microbial electrochemical cells and capacitive deionization.

Understanding biological electron transfer in electroactive biofilms to improve biofuel production via directed electrosynthesis, e.g., enhancing butanol production via external cellular redox control.

Bioelectricity production from biorefinery process streams to improve energy and process efficiency of biomass to biofuel conversion.

Determining mass transfer and kinetics of electron transfer in electroactive biofilms via capacitive, inductive and resistive component modeling of electrochemical Impedance spectra.

Bioreactor development for syngas fermentation and synthetic pathway development.


Borole, A.P., Hamilton, CY; Schell, D (2013) Environ. Sci. Technol., “Conversion of residual organics in corn stover-derived biorefinery stream to bioenergy via a microbial fuel cell,” 47 (1) 642-648.

Borole, A. P., G. Reguera, Ringeisen, B., Wang, Z-W, Feng, Y., Kim, B H (2011). “Electroactive Biofilms: Current Status and Future Research Needs”.A review article published in Energy and Environmental Science.4, 4813-4834.

Aaron, D. S.; Tsouris, C.; Hamilton, C. Y.; Borole, A. P., “Assessment of the impact of flow rate and ionic strength on performance of microbial fuel cells using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy”. Energies 2010,

Borole, A. P.; Aaron, D. S.; Tsouris, C.; Hamilton, C. Y., “Understanding long term changes in microbial fuel cells using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy.” Environ. Sci. Technol. 2010, 44, 2740-2745.

Aaron, D. S.; Borole, A. P.; Hussey, D.; Jacobson, D.; Yiacoumi, S.; Tsouris, C., “Quantifying the Water Content in the Cathode of Enzyme Fuel Cells via Neutron Imaging”. J. Power Sources 2010, 196, 1769

Borole, A.P., J. Mielenz, T.A. Vishnivetskaya, and C.Y. Hamilton, “Controlling accumulation of fermentation inhibitors in biorefinery water recycle using microbial fuel cells”. Biotechnol. Biofuels, 2009, 2(7), open access.

Borole, A P; Dai S., Cheng C. L., Rodriguez, M. Jr. and Davison B. H., “Performance of Chloroperoxidase Stabilization in Mesoporous Sol-gel Glass Using in-situ GOX peroxide generation,” Appl. Biochem. Biotechnol., 2004, 113, p273.

Borole, A. P., Klasson, K. T., Ridenour, W., Holland, J., Karim, K., Al-Dahhan, M.H., “Methane Production in a 100-L Upflow Bioreactor by Anaerobic Digestion of Farm Waste,” Appl. Biochem. Biotechnol. Spring 129, 132:887-96 (2006)

Selected Patents

Borole, A. P. and C. Tsouris (2013). “Microbial Fuel Cell Treatment of Fuel Processing Wastewater,” US Patent 8,597,513 B2

Borole, A. P. (2012). “Microbial fuel cell treatment of ethanol fermentation process water,” USA, US Patent 8,192,854 B2


Ramirez-Corredores, M.; Borole, A.P., “Biocatalysis in oil refining”. Elsevier: Amsterdam, 2007; Vol. 164, p 418.

Contact Information

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