Microbial fuel cell anodic microbial populations dynamics during MFC start-up


In order to optimize energy production in MFCs, a better understanding of anodic communities is essential. Our objective was to determine the taxonomic structure of the bacterial communities present at the surface of the anode during the formation and development of electro-active biofilms in MFCs inoculated with fresh primary clarifier overflow. Quantitative microbial community dynamics were evaluated as a function of time and electrical performance using 16S rRNA gene-based phylogenetic microarrays and flow cytometry. Results show that the bacterial community stabilized partially but not completely when voltage output was stable. Geobacter appeared to be the predominant genus, whose growth was associated with voltage, while some other genus still developed or declined after the voltage stabilization. Flow cytometry revealed that some genus showing a decreasing proportional fluorescence intensity over time were still actively respiring bacteria, and thus, active albeit minor members of the biofilm. Finally, this study shows that anodic biofilm selection and maturation is still occurring after more than 20 days of operation and over ten days after voltage is stabilized.


Agathe Paitiera, Alexiane Godaina, Delina Lyona, Naoufel Haddoura, Timothy M. Vogela, Jean-Michel Monierb

  • a. Environmental Microbial Genomics, Laboratoire Ampère, Ecole Centrale de Lyon, CNRS UMR 5005, Université de Lyon, 36 Avenue Guy de Collongue, 69134 Eculy, France
  • b. ENOVEO, 7 Place Antonin Poncet, 69001 Lyon, France


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