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Sustainable Power Production in a Membrane-less and Mediator-less Wastewater Microbial Fuel Cell

Aldrovandi, Aba and Marsili, Enrico and Stante, Loredana and Paganin, Patrizia and Tabacchioni, Silvia and Giondano, Andrea (2009) Sustainable Power Production in a Membrane-less and Mediator-less Wastewater Microbial Fuel Cell. Bioresource Technology, 100 (13). pp. 3252-3260. ISSN 0960-8524

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Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) fed with wastewater are currently considered a feasible strategy for production of renewable electricity at low cost. A membrane-less MFC with biological cathode was built from a compact wastewater treatment reactor. When operated with an external resistance of 250 Ohm, the MFC produced a long-term power of approximately 70 mW/m2 for ten months. Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis of the cathode biomass when the MFC was closed on a 2100 Ohm external resistance showed that the sequenced bands were affiliated with Firmicutes, -Proteobacteria, -Proteobacteria, -Proteobacteria, and Bacteroidetes groups. When the external resistance was varied between 250 and 2100 Ohm, sustainable resistance decreased from 900 to 750 Ohm, while sustainable power output decreased from 32 to 28 mW/m2. It is likely that these effects were caused by changes in the microbial ecology of anodic and cathodic biomass attached to the electrodes. Results suggest that cathodic biomass enrichment in “electroactive” bacteria may improve MFCs power output in a similar fashion to what has been already observed for anodic biomass.

Item Type:Article (Published)
Uncontrolled Keywords:microbial fuel cell; sustainable power; biocathode; PCR-DGGE
Subjects:Biological Sciences > Biotechnology
Biological Sciences > Microbiology
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science and Health > School of Biotechnology
Research Initiatives and Centres > National Centre for Sensor Research (NCSR)
Publisher:Elsevier Ltd.
Official URL:
Copyright Information:© Elsevier Ltd. 2009
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. View License
ID Code:16226
Deposited On:20 Apr 2011 15:30 by Enrico Marsili. Last Modified 04 May 2011 11:50

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