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Bioresource Technology
Vol. 241, 2017, Pages: 1191-1196

An integrated aerobic-anaerobic strategy for performance enhancement of Pseudomonas aeruginosa-inoculated microbial fuel cell

Xiao-YuYong, Zhi-YingYan, Hai-BoShen, JunZhou, Xia-YuanWu, Li-JuanZhang, TaoZheng, MinJiang, PingWei, Hong-HuaJia, Yang-ChunYong

College of Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Engineering, Bioenergy Research Institute, Nanjing TECH University, Nanjing 211816, China.


Microbial fuel cell (MFC) is a promising device for energy generation and organic waste treatment simultaneously by electrochemically active bacteria (EAB). In this study, an integrated aerobic-anaerobic strategy was developed to improve the performance of P. aeruginosa-inoculated MFC. With an aerobic start-up and following an anaerobic discharge process, the current density of MFC reached a maximum of 99.80 µA/cm2, which was 91.6% higher than the MFC with conventional constant-anaerobic operation. Cyclic voltammetry and HPLC analysis showed that aerobic start-up significantly increased electron shuttle (pyocyanin) production (76% higher than the constant-anaerobic MFC). Additionally, enhanced anode biofilm formation was also observed in the integrated aerobic-anaerobic MFC. The increased pyocyanin production and biofilm formation promoted extracellular electron transfer from EAB to the anode and were the underlying mechanism for the MFC performance enhancement. This work demonstrated the integrated aerobic-anaerobic strategy would be a practical strategy to enhance the electricity generation of MFC.

Graphical abstract

Keywords: Microbial fuel cell (MFC), Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Integrated aerobic-anaerobic strategy, Pyocyanin (PYO), Biofilm, Extracellular electron transfer.
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