Maximising electricity production by controlling the biofilm specific growth rate in microbial fuel cells
Ledezma, P., Greenman, J. and Ieropoulos, I. (2012) Maximising electricity production by controlling the biofilm specific growth rate in microbial fuel cells. Bioresource Technology, 118. pp. 615-618. ISSN 0960-8524 Available from: http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/17049
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2012.05.054
The aim of this work is to study the relationship between growth rate and electricity production in perfusion-electrode microbial fuel cells (MFCs), across a wide range of flow rates by co-measurement of electrical output and changes in population numbers by viable counts and optical density. The experiments hereby presented demonstrate, for the first time to the authors’ knowledge, that the anodic biofilm specific growth rate can be determined and controlled in common with other loose matrix perfusion systems. Feeding with nutrient-limiting conditions at a critical flow rate (50.8 mL h�1) resulted in the first experimental determination of maximum specific growth rate lmax (19.8 day�1) for Shewanella spp. MFC biofilms, which is considerably higher than those predicted or assumed via mathematical modelling. It is also shown that, under carbon-energy limiting conditions there is a strong direct relationship between growth rate and electrical power output, with lmax coinciding with maximum electrical power production.
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