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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Bioenergy Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #223871

Title: Synergetic effects of microbial binary cultures on microbial fuel cell performance

item Rosenbaum, Miriam
item Cotta, Michael

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/29/2008
Publication Date: 5/29/2008
Citation: Rosenbaum, M., Cotta, M.A., Angenent, L.T. 2008. Synergetic effects of microbial binary cultures on microbial fuel cell performance [abstract]. Microbial Fuel Cells. Paper No. 73.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: A binary culture of Lactococcus lactis and Shewanella oneidensis was studied for an efficient conversion of glucose into electricity in a continuously-operated chemostatic electrochemical reactor. The homolactic fermentation bacterium L. lactis fermented glucose almost exclusively to lactate – the favorite electron donor for the electricigen S. oneidensis. The latter bacterium cannot utilize sugars directly as electron donor in microbial fuel cells. L. lactis alone showed no electrochemical activity, while the maximum obtained current density for S. oneidensis in a pure culture in lactate based medium was about 12 uA/cm**2, which confirms literature reports about this microorganism. However, in a binary culture with glucose as primary fuel, the current density increased by 140% to about 27 uA/cm**2. The study was followed using electrochemical, HPLC-analytical, and electron microscopic techniques. The examination of the metabolic interactions between two defined species of microorganisms eventually will help to understand the complex food web among mixed bacterial communities in microbial fuel cells treating complex organic compounds.