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Bioanode as a limiting factor to biocathode performance in microbial electrolysis cells

Lookup NU author(s): Swee Su Lim, Professor Eileen Yu, Dr Byung-Yong Kim, Emeritus Professor Keith Scott



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2017 The Authors The bioanode is important for a microbial electrolysis cell (MEC) and its robustness to maintain its catalytic activity affects the performance of the whole system. Bioanodes enriched at a potential of +0.2 V (vs. standard hydrogen electrode) were able to sustain their oxidation activity when the anode potential was varied from −0.3 up to +1.0 V. Chronoamperometric test revealed that the bioanode produced peak current density of 0.36 A/m2 and 0.37 A/m2 at applied potential 0 and +0.6 V, respectively. Meanwhile hydrogen production at the biocathode was proportional to the applied potential, in the range from −0.5 to −1.0 V. The highest production rate was 7.4 L H2/(m2 cathode area)/day at −1.0 V cathode potential. A limited current output at the bioanode could halt the biocathode capability to generate hydrogen. Therefore maximum applied potential that can be applied to the biocathode was calculated as −0.84 V without overloading the bioanode.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lim SS, Yu EH, Daud WRW, Kim BH, Scott K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Bioresource Technology

Year: 2017

Volume: 238

Pages: 313-324

Print publication date: 01/08/2017

Online publication date: 24/03/2017

Acceptance date: 22/03/2017

Date deposited: 16/05/2017

ISSN (print): 0960-8524

ISSN (electronic): 1873-2976

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2017.03.127


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