Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Decoupling Livestock from Land Use through Industrial Feed Production Pathways
Pikaar, Ilje ; Matassa, Silvio ; Bodirsky, Benjamin L. ; Weindl, Isabelle ; Humpenöder, Florian ; Rabaey, Korneel ; Boon, Nico ; Bruschi, Michele ; Yuan, Zhiguo ; Zanten, Hannah van; Herrero, Mario ; Verstraete, Willy ; Popp, Alexander - \ 2018
Environmental Science and Technology 52 (2018)13. - ISSN 0013-936X - p. 7351 - 7359.

One of the main challenges for the 21st century is to balance the increasing demand for high-quality proteins while mitigating environmental impacts. In particular, cropland-based production of protein-rich animal feed for livestock rearing results in large-scale agricultural land-expansion, nitrogen pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. Here we propose and analyze the long-term potential of alternative animal feed supply routes based on industrial production of microbial proteins (MP). Our analysis reveals that by 2050, MP can replace, depending on socio-economic development and MP production pathways, between 10-19% of conventional crop-based animal feed protein demand. As a result, global cropland area, global nitrogen losses from croplands and agricultural greenhouse gas emissions can be decreased by 6% (0-13%), 8% (-3-8%), and 7% (-6-9%), respectively. Interestingly, the technology to industrially produce MP at competitive costs is directly accessible for implementation and has the potential to cause a major structural change in the agro-food system.

Metal recovery by microbial electro-metallurgy
Dominguez-Benetton, Xochitl ; Varia, Jeet Chandrakant ; Pozo, Guillermo ; Modin, Oskar ; Heijne, Annemiek Ter; Fransaer, Jan ; Rabaey, Korneel - \ 2018
Progress in Materials Science 94 (2018). - ISSN 0079-6425 - p. 435 - 461.
Bioelectrochemical systems - Critical raw materials - Metal recovery - Microbial electrochemical technologies
Raw metals are fundamental to the global economy as they are essential to maintain the quality of our life as well as industrial performance. A number of metal-bearing aqueous matrices are appealing as alternative supplies to conventional mining, like solid industrial and urban waste leachates, wastewaters and even some natural extreme environments (e.g. deep marine sediments, geothermal brines). Some of these sources are already managed for recovery, while others are not suitable either because they are too low in content of recoverable metals or they contain too many impurities that would interfere with classical recovery processes or would be cost-prohibitive. Microbial electro-metallurgy, which results from the interactions between microorganisms, metals and electrodes, in which the electron transfer chain associated with microbial respiration plays a key role, can contribute to overcome these challenges. This review provides the state of the art on this subject, and summarizes the general routes through which microbes can catalyse or support metal recovery, leading to nano- and macro-scale materials. Competing sorption and electrochemical technologies are briefly revisited. The relevant sources of metals are highlighted as well as the challenges and opportunities to turn microbial electro-metallurgy into a sustainable industrial technology in the near future. Finally, an outlook to pursue functional materials through microbial electrometallurgy is provided.
A critical revisit of the key parameters used to describe microbial electrochemical systems
Sharma, M. ; Bajracharya, S. ; Gildemyn, S. ; Patil, S.A. ; Alvarez-Gallego, Y. ; Pant, D. ; Rabaey, K. ; Dominguez-Benetton, X. - \ 2014
Electrochimica Acta 140 (2014). - ISSN 0013-4686 - p. 191 - 208.
extracellular electron-transfer - cathodic oxygen reduction - stainless-steel cathodes - waste-water treatment - fuel-cells - geobacter-sulfurreducens - bioelectrochemical systems - electricity-generation - power-generation - hydrogen-production
Many microorganisms have the innate capability to discharge and/or receive electrons to and from solid state materials such as electrodes. This ability is now used towards innovative processes in wastewater treatment, power generation, production of fuels and biochemicals, bioremediation, desalination and resource recovery, among others. Despite being a dynamic field in science and technology, significant challenges remain towards industrial implementation which include representation of judicious performance indicators. This critical review outlines the progress in current density evaluated per projected surface area of electrodes, the most wide-spread performance indicator. It also proposes guidelines to correct current and exchange current per porous surface area, biofilm covered area, electrochemically- or bioelectrochemically- active surface area, of the electrodes. Recommendations for indicators to describe the environmental and electrochemical robustness of electrochemically-active biofilms are portrayed, including preservation of the predominant functionality as well as electrochemical mechanistic and phenomenological features. A few additional key elements for industrial processing are depicted. Whereas Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs) are the main focus, some important parameters for reporting on cathodic bioproduction performance are also discussed. This critical revision aims to provide key parameters to compare the whole spectrum of microbial electrochemical systems in a consistent way. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Chain elongation in anaerobic reactor microbiomes to recover resources from waste
Spirito, C.M. ; Richter, H. ; Rabaey, K. ; Stams, A.J.M. ; Angenent, L.T. - \ 2014
Current Opinion in Biotechnology 27 (2014). - ISSN 0958-1669 - p. 115 - 122.
upgrading dilute ethanol - fatty-acids - actinobacillus-succinogenes - syngas fermentation - mixed cultures - succinic acid - megasphaera-elsdenii - acetate production - carbon-dioxide - acetic-acid
Different microbial pathways can elongate the carbon chains of molecules in open cultures of microbial populations (i.e. reactor microbiomes) under anaerobic conditions. Here, we discuss three such pathways: 1. homoacetogenesis to combine two carbon dioxide molecules into acetate; 2. succinate formation to elongate glycerol with one carbon from carbon dioxide; and 3. reverse ß oxidation to elongate short-chain carboxylates with two carbons into medium-chain carboxylates, leading to more energy-dense and insoluble products (e.g. easier to separate from solution). The ability to use reactor microbiomes to treat complex substrates can simultaneously address two pressing issues: 1. providing proper waste management; and 2. producing renewable chemicals and fuels.
Microbial Energy Production from Biomass
Plugge, C.M. ; Lier, J.B. van; Stams, A.J.M. ; Jeison, D.A. - \ 2010
In: Bioelectrochemical Systems: From Extracellular electron transfer to biotechnological application / Rabaey, K., Angenent, L., Schroder, U., Keller, J., London : IWA Publishing (Integrated Environmental Technology Series 9) - ISBN 9781843392330 - p. 17 - 38.
In the context of wastewater treatment, Bioelectrochemical Systems (BESs) have gained considerable interest in the past few years, and several BES processes are on the brink of application to this area. This book, written by a large number of world experts in the different sub-topics, describes the different aspects and processes relevant to their development. Bioelectrochemical Systems (BESs) use micro-organisms to catalyze an oxidation and/or reduction reaction at an anodic and cathodic electrode respectively. Briefly, at an anode oxidation of organic and inorganic electron donors can occur. Prime examples of such electron donors are waste organics and sulfides. At the cathode, an electron acceptor such as oxygen or nitrate can be reduced. The anode and the cathode are connected through an electrical circuit. If electrical power is harvested from this circuit, the system is called a Microbial Fuel Cell; if electrical power is invested, the system is called a Microbial Electrolysis Cell. The overall framework of bio-energy and bio-fuels is discussed. A number of chapters discuss the basics – microbiology, microbial ecology, electrochemistry, technology and materials development. The book continues by highlighting the plurality of processes based on BES technology already in existence, going from wastewater based reactors to sediment based bio-batteries. The integration of BESs into existing water or process lines is discussed. Finally, an outlook is provided of how BES will fit within the emerging biorefinery area
Towards practical implementation of bioelectrochemical wastewater treatment
Rozendal, R.A. ; Hamelers, H.V.M. ; Rabaey, K. ; Keller, J. ; Buisman, C.J.N. - \ 2008
Trends in Biotechnology 26 (2008)8. - ISSN 0167-7799 - p. 450 - 459.
microbial fuel-cells - extracellular electron-transfer - cathodic oxygen reduction - ion-exchange membranes - electricity-generation - power-generation - biocatalyzed electrolysis - anaerobic-digestion - hydrogen-production - performance
Bioelectrochemical systems (BESs), such as microbial fuel cells (MFCs) and microbial electrolysis cells (MECs), are generally regarded as a promising future technology for the production of energy from organic material present in wastewaters. The current densities that can be generated with laboratory BESs now approach levels that come close to the requirements for practical applications. However, full-scale implementation of bioelectrochemical wastewater treatment is not straightforward because certain microbiological, technological and economic challenges need to be resolved that have not previously been encountered in any other wastewater treatment system. Here, we identify these challenges, provide an overview of their implications for the feasibility of bioelectrochemical wastewater treatment and explore the opportunities for future BESs.
Microbial Fuel Cells for Sulfide Removal
Rabaey, K. ; Sompel, S. van de; Maignien, L. ; Boon, N. ; Aelterman, P. ; Clauwaert, P. ; Schamphelaire, L. de; The Pham, H. ; Vermeulen, J. ; Verhaege, M. ; Lens, P.N.L. ; Verstraete, W. - \ 2006
Environmental Science and Technology 40 (2006)17. - ISSN 0013-936X - p. 5218 - 5224.
electricity-generation - electron-transfer - sulfur - energy - sediments - waters
Thus far, microbial fuel cells (MFCs) have been used to convert carbon-based substrates to electricity. However, sulfur compounds are ubiquitously present in organic waste and wastewater. In this study, a MFC with a hexacyanoferrate cathodic electrolyte was used to convert dissolved sulfide to elemental sulfur. Two types of MFCs were used, a square type closed to the air and a tubular type in which the cathode compartment was open to the air. The square-type MFCs demonstrated a potential-dependent conversion of sulfide to sulfur. In the tubular system, up to 514 mg sulfide L-1 net anodic compartment (NAC) day-1 (241 mg L-1 day-1 total anodic compartment, TAC) was removed. The sulfide oxidation in the anodic compartment resulted in electricity generation with power outputs up to 101 mW L-1 NAC (47 W m-3 TAC). Microbial fuel cells were coupled to an anaerobic upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor, providing total removals of up to 98% and 46% of the sulfide and acetate, respectively. The MFCs were capable of simultaneously removing sulfate via sulfide. This demonstrates that digester effluents can be polished by a MFC for both residual carbon and sulfur compounds. The recovery of electrons from sulfides implies a recovery of energy otherwise lost in the methane digester
Microbial Fuel Cells: Methodology and Technology
Logan, B.E. ; Hamelers, H.V.M. ; Rozendal, R.A. ; Schröder, U. ; Keller, J. ; Freguia, S. ; Aelterman, P. ; Verstraete, W. ; Rabaey, K. - \ 2006
Environmental Science and Technology 40 (2006)17. - ISSN 0013-936X - p. 5181 - 5192.
continuous electricity-generation - sediment-water interface - proton-exchange membrane - reduced neutral red - biofuel cells - electron-transfer - power-generation - waste-water - energy-conservation - harvesting energy
Microbial fuel cell (MFC) research is a rapidly evolving field that lacks established terminology and methods for the analysis of system performance. This makes it difficult for researchers to compare devices on an equivalent basis. The construction and analysis of MFCs requires knowledge of different scientific and engineering fields, ranging from microbiology and electrochemistry to materials and environmental engineering. Describing MFC systems therefore involves an understanding of these different scientific and engineering principles. In this paper, we provide a review of the different materials and methods used to construct MFCs, techniques used to analyze system performance, and recommendations on what information to include in MFC studies and the most useful ways to present results
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