Selective enrichment establishes a stable performing community for microbial electrosynthesis of acetate from CO2

Patil, Sunil A., Arends, Jan B. A., Vanwonterghem, Inka, Van Meerbergen, Jarne, Guo, Kun, Tyson, Gene W. and Rabaey, Korneel (2015) Selective enrichment establishes a stable performing community for microbial electrosynthesis of acetate from CO2. Environmental Science and Technology, 49 14: 8833-8843. doi:10.1021/es506149d


Author Patil, Sunil A.
Arends, Jan B. A.
Vanwonterghem, Inka
Van Meerbergen, Jarne
Guo, Kun
Tyson, Gene W.
Rabaey, Korneel
Title Selective enrichment establishes a stable performing community for microbial electrosynthesis of acetate from CO2
Formatted title
Selective enrichment establishes a stable performing community for microbial electrosynthesis of acetate from CO2
Journal name Environmental Science and Technology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1520-5851
0013-936X
Publication date 2015-07-21
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1021/es506149d
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 49
Issue 14
Start page 8833
End page 8843
Total pages 11
Place of publication Washington, DC, United States
Publisher American Chemical Society
Language eng
Abstract The advent of renewable energy conversion systems exacerbates the existing issue of intermittent excess power. Microbial electrosynthesis can use this power to capture CO2 and produce multicarbon compounds as a form of energy storage. As catalysts, microbial populations can be used, provided side reactions such as methanogenesis are avoided. Here a simple but effective approach is presented based on enrichment of a robust microbial community via several culture transfers with H-2:CO2 conditions. This culture produced acetate at a concentration of 1.29 +/- 0.15 g L-1 (maximum up to 1.5 g L-1; 25 mM) from CO2 at a fixed current of -5 Am-2 in fed-batch bioelectrochemical reactors at high N-2:CO2, flow rates. Continuous supply of reducing equivalents enabled acetate production at a rate of 19 +/- 2 gm(-2)d(-1) (projected cathode area) in several independent experiments. This is a considerably high rate compared with other unmodified carbon-based cathodes. 58 +/- 5% of the electrons was recovered in acetate, whereas 30 +/- 10% of the electrons was recovered in H-2 as a secondary product. The bioproduction was most likely H-2 based; however, electrochemical, confocal microscopy, and community analyses of the cathodes suggested the possible involvement of the cathodic biofilm. Together, the enrichment approach and galvanostatic operation enabled instant start-up of the electrosynthesis process and reproducible acetate production profiles.
Formatted abstract
The advent of renewable energy conversion systems exacerbates the existing issue of intermittent excess power. Microbial electrosynthesis can use this power to capture CO2 and produce multicarbon compounds as a form of energy storage. As catalysts, microbial populations can be used, provided side reactions such as methanogenesis are avoided. Here a simple but effective approach is presented based on enrichment of a robust microbial community via several culture transfers with H2:CO2 conditions. This culture produced acetate at a concentration of 1.29 ± 0.15 g L–1 (maximum up to 1.5 g L–1; 25 mM) from CO2 at a fixed current of −5 Am–2 in fed-batch bioelectrochemical reactors at high N2:CO2 flow rates. Continuous supply of reducing equivalents enabled acetate production at a rate of 19 ± 2 gm–2d–1 (projected cathode area) in several independent experiments. This is a considerably high rate compared with other unmodified carbon-based cathodes. 58 ± 5% of the electrons was recovered in acetate, whereas 30 ± 10% of the electrons was recovered in H2 as a secondary product. The bioproduction was most likely H2 based; however, electrochemical, confocal microscopy, and community analyses of the cathodes suggested the possible involvement of the cathodic biofilm. Together, the enrichment approach and galvanostatic operation enabled instant start-up of the electrosynthesis process and reproducible acetate production profiles.
Keyword Renewable energy conversion systems
Microbial electrosynthesis
Energy storage
Microbial communities
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID PIEF-GA-2012-326869
226532
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
Advanced Water Management Centre Publications
 
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