Biocathode microbial fuel cell for efficient electricity recovery from dairy manure.Biosens Bioelectron. 2012 Jan 15; 31(1):537-43.BB
Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) represent a new biological method for generating electricity directly from biodegradable compounds. Efficiency of MFCs using manure as substrate is generally low. This study proposed a new design by incorporating biocathodes into a three-chamber MFC, which yielded maximum power densities much higher than those reported in literature. The new design placed cylindrical anode chamber for easy stirring and two symmetrical cathodic chambers with reduced anode-cathode distance. The biocathodes were applied to reduce charge transfer resistance. Additionally, biocathode microbial community was cultured to enrich favorable microorganisms. With external loading of 100 Ω, the power densities for new biocathode MFC using 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10% total solids diary manure reached 7.85±1.0 W m(-3), 7.84±1.20 W m(-3), 8.15±0.20 W m(-3), 7.60±0.97 W m(-3) and 5.63±0.97 W m(-3), respectively. The pH drop as a result of manure hydrolysis limited the power output. To provide detailed information of the microbial community in the biocathode MFC, the 454-pyrosequencing technique was adopted. The Firmicutes, γ-, β-, α- and δ-Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria were the major groups on the anode, while γ-, β-, and α-Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria were the predominant groups on the cathode.