Long-term effect of set potential on biocathodes in microbial fuel cells: electrochemical and phylogenetic characterization.Bioresour Technol. 2012 Sep; 120:26-33.BT
The long-term effect of set potential on oxygen reducing biocathodes was investigated in terms of electrochemical and biological characteristics. Three biocathodes were poised at 200, 60 and -100 mV vs. saturated calomel electrode (SCE) for 110 days, including the first 17 days for startup. Electrochemical analyses showed that 60 mV was the optimum potential during long-term operation. The performance of all the biocathodes kept increasing after startup, suggesting a period longer than startup time needed to make potential regulation more effective. The inherent characteristics without oxygen transfer limitation were studied. Different from short-term regulation, the amounts of biomass were similar while the specific electrochemical activity was significantly influenced by potential. Moreover, potential showed a strong selection for cathode bacteria. Clones 98% similar with an uncultured Bacteroidetes bacterium clone CG84 accounted for 75% to 80% of the sequences on the biocathodes that showed higher electrochemical activity (60 and -100 mV).