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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Record number 558301
Title Competition of electrogens with methanogens for hydrogen in bioanodes
Author(s) Georg, S.; Eguren Cordoba, I. de; Sleutels, T.; Kuntke, P.; Heijne, A. ter; Buisman, C.J.N.
Source Water Research 170 (2020). - ISSN 0043-1354
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2019.115292
Department(s) Biological Recovery & Re-use Technology
WIMEK
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2020
Keyword(s) Bioanode - Bioelectrochemical system - Fermentation - Hydrogen oxidation
Abstract

Bioelectrochemical systems (BES) can provide an energy efficient way to recover nutrients from wastewaters. However, the electron donors available in wastewater are often not sufficient to recover the total amount of nutrients. This work investigates hydrogen (H2) as an additional substrate for bioanodes. This hydrogen can be produced in the fermentation of complex organic waste or could be recycled from the cathode. Understanding how to influence the competition of electroactive microorganisms (EAM) with methanogens for H2 gas from different sources is key to successful application of H2 as additional electron donor in bioelectrochemical nutrient recovery. Ethanol (EtOH) was used as model compound for complex wastewaters since it is fermented into both acetate and H2. EtOH was efficiently converted into electricity (e) by a syntrophic biofilm. Total recovered charge from 1 mM EtOH was 20% higher than for the same amount of acetate. This means that H2 from EtOH fermentation was converted by EAM into electricity. Low EtOH concentrations (1 mM) led to higher conversion efficiencies into electricity than higher concentrations (5 and 10 mM). Thermodynamic calculations show this correlates with a higher energy gain for electrogens compared to methanogens at low H2 concentrations. Cumulatively adding 1 mM EtOH without medium exchange (14 times in 14 days) resulted in stable conversion of H2 to e (67%–77% e) rather than methane. With H2 gas as electron donor, 68 ± 2% H2 was converted into e with no carbon source added, and still 53 ± 5% to e when 50 mM bicarbonate was provided. These results show that under the provided conditions, electrogens can outcompete methanogens for H2 as additional electron donor in MECs for nutrient recovery.

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