Enrichment of microbial community generating electricity using a fuel-cell-type electrochemical cell

B. H. Kim, H. S. Park, H. J. Kim, G. T. Kim, I. S. Chang, J. Lee, N. T. Phung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

332 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A fuel cell was used to enrich a microbial consortium generating electricity, using organic wastewater as the fuel. Within 30 days of enrichment the maximum current of 0.2 mA was generated with a resistance of 1 kΩ. Current generation was coupled to a fall in chemical oxygen demand from over 1,700 mg l-1 down to 50 mg l-1. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis showed a different microbial population in the enriched electrode from that in the sludge used as the inoculum. Electron microscopic observation showed a biofilm on the electrode surface and microbial clumps. Nanobacteria-like particles were present on the biofilm surface. Metabolic inhibitors and electron acceptors inhibited the current generation. 16S ribosomal RNA gene analysis showed a diverse bacterial population in the enrichment culture. These findings demonstrate that an electricity-generating microbial consortium can be enriched using a fuel cell and that the electrochemical activity is a form of anaerobic electron transfer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)672-681
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Volume63
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2004
Externally publishedYes

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Electricity
Electrochemical cells
Microbial Consortia
Fuel cells
Biofilms
Electrons
Calcifying Nanoparticles
Electrodes
16S Ribosomal RNA
Biological Oxygen Demand Analysis
Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis
Chemical oxygen demand
Waste Water
Sewage
Electrophoresis
rRNA Genes
Population
Wastewater
Gels
Genes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Microbiology
  • Bioengineering

Cite this

Enrichment of microbial community generating electricity using a fuel-cell-type electrochemical cell. / Kim, B. H.; Park, H. S.; Kim, H. J.; Kim, G. T.; Chang, I. S.; Lee, J.; Phung, N. T.

In: Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol. 63, No. 6, 02.2004, p. 672-681.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kim, B. H. ; Park, H. S. ; Kim, H. J. ; Kim, G. T. ; Chang, I. S. ; Lee, J. ; Phung, N. T. / Enrichment of microbial community generating electricity using a fuel-cell-type electrochemical cell. In: Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology. 2004 ; Vol. 63, No. 6. pp. 672-681.
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