Repression of hydrogen uptake using conjugated oligoelectrolytes in microbial electrolysis cells

Huijie Hou, Xiaofen Chen, Jia Liu, Xiuping Zhu, Guillermo C. Bazan, Bruce E. Logan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Copyright © 2014, Hydrogen Energy Publications, LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. DSBN+, a conjugated oligoelectrolyte (COE), was added to microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) to improve hydrogen recovery. The volume of hydrogen gas recovered in a fedbatch cycle of mixed culture MECs increased by 126× compared to controls (no COE addition), mainly by preventing the loss of hydrogen to methane production. Performance in pure culture MECs fed with Geobacter sulfurreducens increased by factors of 10.5 in terms of energy yield, 2.1 in COD removal, and 11.8 in hydrogen yield. Hydrogen gas recycling was reduced, and the volume of hydrogen gas recovered increased by 6.5× compared to controls. Minimal methane production and a lack of hydrogen gas uptake by G. sulfurreducens suggested that the COEs increased hydrogen recoveries by interfering with hydrogen uptake by hydrogenotrophic methanogens but also by exoelectrogenic bacteria. COEs may therefore be useful for inhibiting the activities of certain hydrogenases, although the mechanism of inhibition needs further investigation.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19407-19415
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number34
StatePublished - Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUS-I1-003-13
Acknowledgements: We thank Professor James G. Ferry at Penn State for providing cultures of M. acetiuorans and Dr. Michael Siegert for helping to culture M. acetiuorans. This work was funded by Award KUS-I1-003-13 from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and the Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies (ICB) under grant W911F-09-D-0001 from the U.S. Army Research Office.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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