Conjugated oligoelectrolyte represses hydrogen oxidation by Geobacter sulfurreducens in microbial electrolysis cells

A conjugated oligoelectrolyte (COE), which spontaneously aligns within cell membranes, was shown to completely inhibit H2 uptake by Geobacter sulfurreducens in microbial electrolysis cells. Coulombic efficiencies that were 490 ± 95%, due to H2 recycling between the cathode and microorganisms on the anode, were reduced to 86 ± 2% with COE addition. The use of the COE resulted in a 67-fold increase in H2 gas recovery, and a 4.4-fold increase in acetate removal. Current generation, H2 recovery and COD removals by Geobacter metallireducens, which cannot use H2, were unaffected by COE addition. These results show that this COE is an effective H2 uptake inhibitor, and that it can enable improved and sustained H2 gas recovery in this bioelectrochemical system. 

Liu, H., Hou, H. J., Chen, X. F., Bazan, G. C., Kashima, H. and Logan, B. E.
Volume: 106
Pages: 379-382
Date: July, 2015
ICB Affiliated Authors: Guillermo C Bazan