Effect of pre-acclimation of granular activated carbon on microbial electrolysis cell startup and performance

Nicole LaBarge, Yasemin Dilsad Yilmazel, Pei Ying Hong, Bruce Ernest Logan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) can generate methane by fixing carbon dioxide without using expensive catalysts, but the impact of acclimation procedures on subsequent performance has not been investigated. Granular activated carbon (GAC) was used to pre-enrich electrotrophic methanogenic communities, as GAC has been shown to stimulate direct transfer of electrons between different microbial species. MEC startup times using pre-acclimated GAC were improved compared to controls (without pre-acclimation or without GAC), and after three fed batch cycles methane generation rates were similar (P > 0.4) for GAC acclimated to hydrogen (22 ± 9.3 nmol cm− 3 d− 1), methanol (25 ± 9.7 nmol cm− 3 d− 1), and a volatile fatty acid (VFA) mix (22 ± 11 nmol cm− 3 d− 1). However, MECs started with GAC but no pre-acclimation had lower methane generation rates (13 ± 4.1 nmol cm− 3 d− 1), and MECs without GAC had the lowest rates (0.7 ± 0.8 nmol cm− 3 d− 1 after cycle 2). Microbes previously found in methanogenic MECs, or previously shown to be capable of exocellular electron transfer, were enriched on the GAC. Pre-acclimation using GAC is therefore a simple approach to enrich electroactive communities, improve methane generation rates, and decrease startup times in MECs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-25
Number of pages6
JournalBioelectrochemistry
Volume113
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

Fingerprint

Regenerative fuel cells
Electrolysis
Acclimatization
activated carbon
electrolysis
Activated carbon
Carbon
cells
Methane
methane
Electrons
Volatile fatty acids
cycles
Volatile Fatty Acids
microorganisms
fatty acids
Carbon Dioxide
fixing
Methanol
carbon dioxide

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrochemistry

Cite this

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abstract = "Microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) can generate methane by fixing carbon dioxide without using expensive catalysts, but the impact of acclimation procedures on subsequent performance has not been investigated. Granular activated carbon (GAC) was used to pre-enrich electrotrophic methanogenic communities, as GAC has been shown to stimulate direct transfer of electrons between different microbial species. MEC startup times using pre-acclimated GAC were improved compared to controls (without pre-acclimation or without GAC), and after three fed batch cycles methane generation rates were similar (P > 0.4) for GAC acclimated to hydrogen (22 ± 9.3 nmol cm− 3 d− 1), methanol (25 ± 9.7 nmol cm− 3 d− 1), and a volatile fatty acid (VFA) mix (22 ± 11 nmol cm− 3 d− 1). However, MECs started with GAC but no pre-acclimation had lower methane generation rates (13 ± 4.1 nmol cm− 3 d− 1), and MECs without GAC had the lowest rates (0.7 ± 0.8 nmol cm− 3 d− 1 after cycle 2). Microbes previously found in methanogenic MECs, or previously shown to be capable of exocellular electron transfer, were enriched on the GAC. Pre-acclimation using GAC is therefore a simple approach to enrich electroactive communities, improve methane generation rates, and decrease startup times in MECs.",
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Effect of pre-acclimation of granular activated carbon on microbial electrolysis cell startup and performance. / LaBarge, Nicole; Yilmazel, Yasemin Dilsad; Hong, Pei Ying; Logan, Bruce Ernest.

In: Bioelectrochemistry, Vol. 113, 01.02.2017, p. 20-25.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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