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Oxygen-reducing bidirectional microbial electrodes designed in real domestic wastewater

  • Hoareau, Morgane
  • Erable, Benjamin
  • Chapleur, Olivier
  • Midoux, Cédric
  • Bureau, Chrystelle
  • Goubet, Anne
  • Bergel, Alain
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2021
Open Archive Toulouse Archive Ouverte
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Microbial electrodes were designed in domestic wastewaters to catalyse the oxidation of organic matter (anode) and the reduction of oxygen (cathode) alternately. The successive aeration phases (cathode) enhanced the anodic efficiency, resulting in current densities of up to 6.4 Am-2 without the addition of any substrate. Using nitrogen during the anodic phases affected the microbial populations and the electrodes showed a lower ability to subsequently turn to O2 reduction than the microbial anodes formed in open-to-air conditions did. No strong difference was observed between internal and external biofilm, both of which showed a very large variety of taxa in terms of abundance as well as variance. They comprised a mix of aerobic and anaerobic species, many of which have already been identified separately in bioelectrochemical systems. Such a large diversity, which had not been observed in aerobic bidirectional bioelectrodes so far, can explain the efficiency and robustness observed here. Keywords: Electroactive biofilm; Bioanode; Microbial snorkel; Microbial Fuel Cell; Microbial population.

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