Journal article

Development of bioelectrocatalytic activity stimulates mixed-culture reduction of glycerol in a bioelectrochemical system

Mi Zhou, Stefano Freguia, Paul G Dennis, Juerg Keller, Korneel Rabaey



In a microbial bioelectrochemical system (BES), organic substrate such as glycerol can be reductively converted to 1,3-propanediol (1,3-PDO) by a mixed population biofilm growing on the cathode. Here, we show that 1,3-PDO yields positively correlated to the electrons supplied, increasing from 0.27 ± 0.13 to 0.57 ± 0.09 mol PDO mol(-1) glycerol when the cathodic current switched from 1 A m(-2) to 10 A m(-2) . Electrochemical measurements with linear sweep voltammetry (LSV) demonstrated that the biofilm was bioelectrocatalytically active and that the cathodic current was greatly enhanced only in the presence of both biofilm and glycerol, with an onset potential of -0.46 V. This indicates that ..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Funding Acknowledgements

We acknowledge Kenn Lu for the help on community analysis, Dr. Beatrice Keller-Lehmann and Ms. Susan Cooke for chemical analysis and Mr. Ampon Chumpia for technical support. The authors also would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their valuable suggestions and comments. This work was supported via European Council Starter Grant ELECTROTALK (KR) and the Centre for Microbial Electrosynthesis (MZ, SF, PGD, KR).