ChemSusChem

Cover image for Vol. 5 Issue 6

Special Issue: Microbial Fuel Cells

June 2012

Volume 5, Issue 6

Pages 957–1127

  1. Cover Picture

    1. Top of page
    2. Cover Picture
    3. Editorial
    4. Graphical Abstract
    5. News
    6. Minireviews
    7. Concepts
    8. Communications
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      Cover Picture: Microbial Fuel Cells and Microbial Electrochemistry: Into the Next Century! (ChemSusChem 6/2012) (page 957)

      Prof. Uwe Schröder

      Article first published online: 5 JUN 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201290024

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      This special issue of ChemSusChem is dedicated to the field of microbial electrochemistry, with a special emphasis on microbial fuel cells. The issue contains invited papers from leading groups in a wide range of aspects ranging from fundamental biological and electrochemical understanding, material research, and system engineering to questions referring to potential applications and economic feasibility. This broad range of contributions is exemplified on the cover picture, which contains graphs, for example, from contributions by Zhao et al., Hu et al., Torres et al., and Bond et al. For a more complete list and description of contributions, please see the editorial on page 959 ff. This selection can be only a fragmentary view of the rapidly growing research field, and many excellent groups could not be considered due to the limited space of such an issue.

  2. Editorial

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  3. Graphical Abstract

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    1. Graphical Abstract: ChemSusChem 6/2012 (pages 962–967)

      Article first published online: 5 JUN 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201290025

  4. News

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    1. Spotlights on our sister journals: ChemSusChem 6/2012 (pages 968–970)

      Article first published online: 5 JUN 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201290026

  5. Minireviews

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    1. Microbial Catalysis of the Oxygen Reduction Reaction for Microbial Fuel Cells: A Review (pages 975–987)

      Dr. Benjamin Erable, Dr. Damien Féron and Dr. Alain Bergel

      Article first published online: 21 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201100836

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      Microbes win design prize: Microbial catalysis of oxygen reduction, which occurs spontaneously on metallic materials immersed in natural waters, can be an effective motor of corrosion. The fundamental advances achieved in studying aerobic microbial corrosion now offer a helpful basis for designing oxygen-reducing microbial cathodes for microbial fuel cells.

    2. Essential Data and Techniques for Conducting Microbial Fuel Cell and other Types of Bioelectrochemical System Experiments (pages 988–994)

      Bruce E. Logan

      Article first published online: 19 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201100604

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      Electromicrobiology: The study of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) and other types of bioelectrochemical systems have great potential for renewable energy production. Certain data are essential for these systems, such as electrode-specific surface areas, solution conductivities, power densities, and electrochemical characterization. This Minireview describes how results can be better conveyed through the full description of materials, the use of proper controls, and electrochemical analyses.

    3. Enzymatic versus Microbial Bio-Catalyzed Electrodes in Bio-Electrochemical Systems (pages 995–1005)

      Laure Lapinsonnière, Matthieu Picot and Dr. Frédéric Barrière

      Article first published online: 5 JUN 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201100835

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      Wired enzymes and metabolism: Bioelectrochemical systems rely on either isolated oxidoreductases or living electroactive bacteria to carry out the efficient catalytic oxidation or reduction of substrates at electrodes. This account focuses on principles of bioelectrocatalysis and stresses the similarities and differences between inert biomacromolecules and microorganisms as the catalytic entities in terms of performances and applications.

    4. Energy from Plants and Microorganisms: Progress in Plant–Microbial Fuel Cells (pages 1006–1011)

      Dr. Huan Deng, Dr. Zheng Chen and Prof. Feng Zhao

      Article first published online: 9 DEC 2011 | DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201100257

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      Down to the roots: Plant–microbial fuel cells convert solar energy into electrical power by using microorganisms, which degrade root exudates and pollutants at the anode and pass the electrons to acceptors at the cathode. This setup can provide auxiliary power while reducing the emission of greenhouse gas, that is, methane, from fields.

    5. Bioelectrochemical Systems: An Outlook for Practical Applications (pages 1012–1019)

      Dr. Tom H. J. A. Sleutels, Dr. Annemiek Ter Heijne, Prof. Cees J. N. Buisman and Dr. Hubertus V. M. Hamelers

      Article first published online: 5 JUN 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201100732

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      Reduced opposition pays off: The internal resistance of bioelectrochemical systems can be represented by an equivalent circuit. The total internal resistance of the system consists of the resistance of the anode, of the electrolyte, for ion transport through the membrane, and of the cathode. Analysis reveals that the maximum internal resistance of microbial electrolysis cells and microbial fuel cells can be as high as 80 and 40 mΩ m−2, respectively.

    6. Microbial Fuel Cells for Robotics: Energy Autonomy through Artificial Symbiosis (pages 1020–1026)

      Dr. Ioannis A. Ieropoulos, Prof. John Greenman, Prof. Chris Melhuish and Ian Horsfield

      Article first published online: 5 JUN 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201200283

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      Microbes animate robots: This Minireview describes the history and current state-of-the-art regarding MFCs in robotics and their vital role in artificial symbiosis and autonomy. Furthermore, the article demonstrates how pursuing practical robotic applications can provide insights of the core MFC technology in general. An outlook into the future potential of the MFC technology and how this can be implemented in real life applications is also highlighted.

  6. Concepts

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    1. The Diversity of Techniques to Study Electrochemically Active Biofilms Highlights the Need for Standardization (pages 1027–1038)

      Falk Harnisch and Korneel Rabaey

      Article first published online: 21 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201100817

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      From data to information: The techniques and methods used for the study of electroactive biofilm (EABf) research are summarized together with their respective level of analysis. Therefrom it is demonstrated that a unified framework of standards on EABf cultivation, operation, and analysis is needed.

    2. Microbial Nanowires: A New Paradigm for Biological Electron Transfer and Bioelectronics (pages 1039–1046)

      Dr. Nikhil S. Malvankar and Prof. Derek R. Lovley

      Article first published online: 21 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201100733

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      Live wires: This concept article summarizes the current understanding of how microbial nanowires (see graph; scale bar: 100 nm) function, where they can be found, and their potential practical applications in bioenergy and bioelectronics.

  7. Communications

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      Long-Distance Electron Transfer by G. sulfurreducens Biofilms Results in Accumulation of Reduced c-Type Cytochromes (pages 1047–1053)

      Dr. Ying Liu and Dr. Daniel R. Bond

      Article first published online: 10 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201100734

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      So close, but yet so far: G. sulfurreducens c-type cytochromes become reduced as biofilms grow on electrodes beyond a few cell thicknesses, even if the electrode is poised well above the potential required to oxidize all cytochromes. Cytochrome redox state also lags behind rapid potential changes during voltammetry, but only when the films are multiple cell layers thick, as would be expected if diffusional or exchange-based kinetics controls electron transfer between cytochromes.

    2. Flavins Secreted by Bacterial Cells of Shewanella Catalyze Cathodic Oxygen Reduction (pages 1054–1058)

      Dr. Huan Liu, Shoichi Matsuda, Prof. Kazuhito Hashimoto and Dr. Shuji Nakanishi

      Article first published online: 4 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201100824

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      On Her Majesty′s Secrete Service: Oxygen reduction is an important process for microbial fuel cells (MFCs) and microbiologically-influenced corrosion (MIC). We demonstrate that flavins secreted by anode-respiring Shewanella cells can catalyze cathodic oxygen reduction via adsorption on the cathode. The findings will provide new insight for developing methods to improve MFC performance and to prevent MIC.

    3. A Three-Dimensionally Ordered Macroporous Carbon Derived From a Natural Resource as Anode for Microbial Bioelectrochemical Systems (pages 1059–1063)

      Dr. Shuiliang Chen, Guanghua He, Xiaowu Hu, Mingyun Xie, Dr. Suqin Wang, Daojie Zeng, Prof. Haoqing Hou and Prof. Uwe Schröder

      Article first published online: 29 MAR 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201100783

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      Top of the crops: The direct use of a natural three-dimensional (3D) architecture in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) is reported for the first time. Stems from the crop plant kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus) are carbonized and used as anode material in MFCs. The current density generated by the carbon is comparable to that of other 3D anodes prepared by other methods. The renewable and low-cost characteristics of this material provide an excellent basis for large-scale application in microbial bioelectrochemcial systems.

  8. Full Papers

    1. Top of page
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    1. Carbonization and Activation of Inexpensive Semicoke-Packed Electrodes to Enhance Power Generation of Microbial Fuel Cells (pages 1065–1070)

      Jincheng Wei, Dr. Peng Liang, Kuichang Zuo, Dr. Xiaoxin Cao and Prof. Xia Huang

      Article first published online: 25 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201100718

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      Combining char with microbes: A novel and simple modification method, carbonization and activation, has been developed to enhance the performance of an inexpensive semicoke electrode to be used in microbial fuel cells. The activated coke (modified semicoke) produces a 124 % and 211 % increase in power density when they were used as anode and biocathode materials, respectively.

    2. Importance of OH Transport from Cathodes in Microbial Fuel Cells (pages 1071–1079)

      Dr. Sudeep C. Popat, Dongwon Ki, Dr. Bruce E. Rittmann and Dr. César I. Torres

      Article first published online: 21 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201100777

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      Do not impede OH! Nernstian concentration overpotential associated with OH transport limitations in microbial fuel cells cathodes is quantified and found to be an important factor leading to poor performance. Strategies to minimize these losses and thus achieve higher power densities, such as replacing Nafion binder with an anion-conducting binder, are tested and discussed.

    3. Linking Bacterial Metabolism to Graphite Cathodes: Electrochemical Insights into the H2-Producing Capability of Desulfovibrio sp. (pages 1080–1085)

      Dr. Federico Aulenta, Laura Catapano, Laura Snip, Dr. Marianna Villano and Prof. Mauro Majone

      Article first published online: 13 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201100720

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      Electrons as pasture for microbes: Feeding microbes with electricity offers new opportunities for storing renewable electrical energy in chemical fuels like hydrogen. By applying a combination of chemical and electrochemical techniques, new insights into the unique capacity of Desulfovibrio sp. to accept electrons from a polarized cathode and use them to catalyze the hydrogen production reaction have been obtained.

    4. Scaling-Up Microbial Fuel Cells: Configuration and Potential Drop Phenomenon at Series Connection of Unit Cells in Shared Anolyte (pages 1086–1091)

      Dr. Daehee Kim, Junyeong An, Bongkyu Kim, Dr. Jae Kyung Jang, Dr. Byung Hong Kim and Prof. In Seop Chang

      Article first published online: 8 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201100678

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      Do stuffed cells drop? One of the biggest drawbacks of installing multiple unit cells in one reactor for scaling-up microbial fuel cell (MFC) systems is a potential drop occurring in the series connection of each unit cell. Several methods for alleviation cannot be applied to a large-scale MFC. Therefore, a design criterion—modularization—is proposed to increase the capacity of fuel utilization, concomitant with avoiding the potential drop.

    5. Real-Time Spatial Gene Expression Analysis within Current-Producing Biofilms (pages 1092–1098)

      Ashley E. Franks, Richard H. Glaven and Derek R. Lovley

      Article first published online: 10 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201100714

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      Spotlighting gene expression: Bacterial metabolism and extracellular electron transfer are essential to the function of microbial electric systems. We report the development of a reporter system for use within current-producing Geobacter sulfurreducens biofilms allowing real-time in situ gene expression monitoring. This reporter system is likely to be a useful tool for optimizing technologies reliant on microbe-electrode interactions.

    6. On Electron Transport through Geobacter Biofilms (pages 1099–1105)

      Prof. Daniel R. Bond, Dr. Sarah M. Strycharz-Glaven, Dr. Leonard M. Tender and Prof. César I. Torres

      Article first published online: 21 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201100748

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      Long-range superexchange: We describe an evolving scheme of biofilm anode respiration ultimately controlled by superexchange among extracellular cytochromes. Although it is likely that other components are also involved, we are able to account for many different types of experimental evidence reported for actively respiring Geobacter biofilm anodes.

    7. Study of the Mechanism of Catalytic Activity of G. Sulfurreducens Biofilm Anodes during Biofilm Growth (pages 1106–1118)

      Dr. Sarah M. Strycharz-Glaven and Prof. Leonard M. Tender

      Article first published online: 13 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201100737

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      Cycles move microbes: Long range electron transport in anode biofilms of microbial fuel cells has been studied with Geobacter sulfurreducens as a model microorganism. Cyclic voltammetry (CV) is used to model the mechanism of catalytic activity of the microbes during biofilm anode development based on our previously published five-step model. CVs recorded at various stages of biofilm growth reveal that the mechanism of catalytic activity is the same throughout biofilm development.

    8. A Laminar-Flow Microfluidic Device for Quantitative Analysis of Microbial Electrochemical Activity (pages 1119–1123)

      Dr. Zhongjian Li, Dr. Arvind Venkataraman, Prof. Dr. Miriam A. Rosenbaum  and Prof. Dr. Largus T. Angenent

      Article first published online: 5 JUN 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201100736

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      Microbes as tools: A laminar-flow microfluidic bioelectrochemical system with a Y-shape channel is used as a quantitative analysis tool to study the immediate effect of multiple different chemical stimuli on microbial electrochemical activity of Geobacter sulfurreducens. This device represents a fast-response and accurate research tool for microbial electrochemical activity research.

  9. Preview

    1. Top of page
    2. Cover Picture
    3. Editorial
    4. Graphical Abstract
    5. News
    6. Minireviews
    7. Concepts
    8. Communications
    9. Full Papers
    10. Preview
    1. You have free access to this content
      Preview: ChemSusChem 7/2012 (page 1127)

      Article first published online: 5 JUN 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201290023

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