The Pennsylvannia State University

State College, PA, United States

The Pennsylvannia State University

State College, PA, United States

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Kiely P.D.,The Pennsylvannia State University | Rader G.,The Pennsylvannia State University | Regan J.M.,The Pennsylvannia State University | Logan B.E.,The Pennsylvannia State University
Bioresource Technology | Year: 2011

To better understand how cathode performance and substrates affected communities that evolved in these reactors over long periods of time, microbial fuel cells were operated for more than 1year with individual endproducts of lignocellulose fermentation (acetic acid, formic acid, lactic acid, succinic acid, or ethanol). Large variations in reactor performance were primarily due to the specific substrates, with power densities ranging from 835±21 to 62±1mW/m3. Cathodes performance degraded over time, as shown by an increase in power of up to 26% when the cathode biofilm was removed, and 118% using new cathodes. Communities that developed on the anodes included exoelectrogenic families, such as Rhodobacteraceae, Geobacteraceae, and Peptococcaceae, with the Deltaproteobacteria dominating most reactors. Pelobacter propionicus was the predominant member in reactors fed acetic acid, and it was abundant in several other MFCs. These results provide valuable insights into the effects of long-term MFC operation on reactor performance. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Kiely P.D.,The Pennsylvannia State University | Cusick R.,The Pennsylvannia State University | Call D.F.,The Pennsylvannia State University | Selembo P.A.,The Pennsylvannia State University | And 2 more authors.
Bioresource Technology | Year: 2011

Conditions in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) differ from those in microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) due to the intrusion of oxygen through the cathode and the release of H2 gas into solution. Based on 16S rRNA gene clone libraries, anode communities in reactors fed acetic acid decreased in species richness and diversity, and increased in numbers of Geobacter sulfurreducens, when reactors were shifted from MFCs to MECs. With a complex source of organic matter (potato wastewater), the proportion of Geobacteraceae remained constant when MFCs were converted into MECs, but the percentage of clones belonging to G. sulfurreducens decreased and the percentage of G. metallireducens clones increased. A dairy manure wastewater-fed MFC produced little power, and had more diverse microbial communities, but did not generate current in an MEC. These results show changes in Geobacter species in response to the MEC environment and that higher species diversity is not correlated with current. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

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