Author(s): Zhen G, Kobayashi T, Lu X, Xu K
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Abstract To better understand the underlying mechanisms for methane bioelectrosynthesis, a two-chamber MECs containing a carbon biocathode was developed and studied. Methane production substantially increased with increasing cathode potential. Considerable methane yield was achieved at a poised potential of -0.9 V (vs. Ag/AgCl), reaching 2.30±0.34 mL after 5 h of operation with a faradaic efficiency of 24.2±4.7\%. Confirmatory tests done at 0.9 V by switching the type of flushed substrates (CO2/N2) or the electrical exposure modes (ON/OFF) demonstrated that cathode serving as an electron donor was the vital driving force for methanogenesis occurring at microbe-electrode surface. Fluorescence in situ hybridization reveled Methanobacteriaceae (particularly Methanobacterium) was the predominant methanogens, supporting the mechanisms of direct electron transfer between cell-electrode. Additionally, the analysis of scanning electron microscope confirmed that the multiple pathways of electron transfer, including direct cathode-to-cell, interspecies exchange and semi-conductive conduits all together ensured the successful electromethanogenesis process. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Bioresour Technol
and referenced in Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology