Spatial distribution of bacterial communities on volumetric and planar anodes in single-chamber air-cathode microbial fuel cells

Ignacio T. Vargas, Istvan U. Albert, John M. Regan

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17 Scopus citations


Pyrosequencing was used to characterize bacterial communities in air-cathode microbial fuel cells across a volumetric (graphite fiber brush) and a planar (carbon cloth) anode, where different physical and chemical gradients would be expected associated with the distance between anode location and the air cathode. As expected, the stable operational voltage and the coulombic efficiency (CE) were higher for the volumetric anode than the planar anode (0.57V and CE=22% vs. 0.51V and CE=12%). The genus Geobacter was the only known exoelectrogen among the observed dominant groups, comprising 57±4% of recovered sequences for the brush and 27±5% for the carbon-cloth anode. While the bacterial communities differed between the two anode materials, results showed that Geobacter spp. and other dominant bacterial groups were homogenously distributed across both planar and volumetric anodes. This lends support to previous community analysis interpretations based on a single biofilm sampling location in these systems. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3059-3062
Number of pages4
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Issue number11
StatePublished - May 29 2013
Externally publishedYes

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