The anode potential regulates bacterial activity in microbial fuel cells

Aelterman, Peter, Freguia, Stefano, Keller, Jurg, Verstraete, Willy and Rabaey, Korneel (2008) The anode potential regulates bacterial activity in microbial fuel cells. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 78 3: 409-418. doi:10.1007/s00253-007-1327-8

Author Aelterman, Peter
Freguia, Stefano
Keller, Jurg
Verstraete, Willy
Rabaey, Korneel
Title The anode potential regulates bacterial activity in microbial fuel cells
Journal name Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0175-7598
Publication date 2008-03-01
Year available 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s00253-007-1327-8
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 78
Issue 3
Start page 409
End page 418
Total pages 10
Place of publication Berlin
Publisher Springer
Language eng
Subject C1
969999 Environment not elsewhere classified
060504 Microbial Ecology
Abstract The anode potential in microbial fuel cells controls both the theoretical energy gain for the microorganisms as the output of electrical energy. We operated three reactors fed with acetate continuously at a poised anode potential of 0 (R 0), −200 (R −200) and −400 (R −400) mV versus Ag/AgCl and investigated the resulting bacterial activity. The anode potential had no influence on the start-up time of the three reactors. During a 31-day period, R −200 produced 15% more charge compared to R 0 and R −400. In addition, R −200 had the highest maximal power density (up to 199 W m−3 total anode compartment during polarization) but the three reactors evolved to the same power density at the end of the experimental period. During polarization, only the current of R −400 levelled off at an anode potential of −300 mV versus Ag/AgCl. The maximum respiration rate of the bacteria during batch tests was also considerably lower for R −400. The specific biomass activity however, was the highest for R −400 (6.93 g chemical oxygen demand g−1 biomass-volatile suspended solids (VSS) d−1 on day 14). This lowered during the course of the experiment due to an increase of the biomass concentration to an average level of 578 ± 106 mg biomass-VSS L−1 graphite granules for the three reactors. This research indicated that an optimal anode potential of −200 mV versus Ag/AgCl exists, regulating the activity and growth of bacteria to sustain an enhanced current and power generation.
Keyword Biofuel cell
Biomass yield
Electron transfer
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2009 Higher Education Research Data Collection
Advanced Water Management Centre Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 228 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 16 Apr 2009, 00:25:06 EST by Suzanne Read on behalf of Advanced Water Management Centre