Abstract

Common to all microbial electrochemical cells (MXCs) are the anode-respiring bacteria (ARB), which transfer electrons to an anode and release protons that must transport out of the biofilm. Here, we develop a novel modeling platform, Proton Condition in BIOFILM (PCBIOFILM), with a structure geared towards mechanistically explaining: (1) how the ARB half reaction produces enough acid to inhibit the ARB by low pH; (2) how the diffusion of alkalinity carriers (phosphates and carbonates) control the pH gradients in the biofilm anode; (3) how increasing alkalinity attenuates pH gradients and increases current; and (4) why carbonates enable higher current density than phosphates. Analysis of literature data using PCBIOFILM supports the hypothesis that alkalinity limits the maximum current density for MXCs. An alkalinity criterion for eliminating low-pH limitation - 12mgCaCO3/mgBOD - implies that a practical MXC can achieve a maximum current density with an effluent quality comparable to anaerobic digestion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-262
Number of pages10
JournalBioresource Technology
Volume102
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2011

Fingerprint

Electrochemical cells
Biofilms
alkalinity
biofilm
Protons
Alkalinity
Anodes
density current
Bacteria
Current density
bacterium
Carbonates
phosphate
Phosphates
carbonate
Phosphate Transport Proteins
Anaerobic digestion
effluent
Effluents
electron

Keywords

  • Anode-respiring bacteria
  • Biofilm anode
  • Biofilm modeling
  • Microbial electrochemical cells
  • PH

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal

Cite this

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title = "Analysis of a microbial electrochemical cell using the proton condition in biofilm (PCBIOFILM) model",
abstract = "Common to all microbial electrochemical cells (MXCs) are the anode-respiring bacteria (ARB), which transfer electrons to an anode and release protons that must transport out of the biofilm. Here, we develop a novel modeling platform, Proton Condition in BIOFILM (PCBIOFILM), with a structure geared towards mechanistically explaining: (1) how the ARB half reaction produces enough acid to inhibit the ARB by low pH; (2) how the diffusion of alkalinity carriers (phosphates and carbonates) control the pH gradients in the biofilm anode; (3) how increasing alkalinity attenuates pH gradients and increases current; and (4) why carbonates enable higher current density than phosphates. Analysis of literature data using PCBIOFILM supports the hypothesis that alkalinity limits the maximum current density for MXCs. An alkalinity criterion for eliminating low-pH limitation - 12mgCaCO3/mgBOD - implies that a practical MXC can achieve a maximum current density with an effluent quality comparable to anaerobic digestion.",
keywords = "Anode-respiring bacteria, Biofilm anode, Biofilm modeling, Microbial electrochemical cells, PH",
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AU - Torres, Cesar

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N2 - Common to all microbial electrochemical cells (MXCs) are the anode-respiring bacteria (ARB), which transfer electrons to an anode and release protons that must transport out of the biofilm. Here, we develop a novel modeling platform, Proton Condition in BIOFILM (PCBIOFILM), with a structure geared towards mechanistically explaining: (1) how the ARB half reaction produces enough acid to inhibit the ARB by low pH; (2) how the diffusion of alkalinity carriers (phosphates and carbonates) control the pH gradients in the biofilm anode; (3) how increasing alkalinity attenuates pH gradients and increases current; and (4) why carbonates enable higher current density than phosphates. Analysis of literature data using PCBIOFILM supports the hypothesis that alkalinity limits the maximum current density for MXCs. An alkalinity criterion for eliminating low-pH limitation - 12mgCaCO3/mgBOD - implies that a practical MXC can achieve a maximum current density with an effluent quality comparable to anaerobic digestion.

AB - Common to all microbial electrochemical cells (MXCs) are the anode-respiring bacteria (ARB), which transfer electrons to an anode and release protons that must transport out of the biofilm. Here, we develop a novel modeling platform, Proton Condition in BIOFILM (PCBIOFILM), with a structure geared towards mechanistically explaining: (1) how the ARB half reaction produces enough acid to inhibit the ARB by low pH; (2) how the diffusion of alkalinity carriers (phosphates and carbonates) control the pH gradients in the biofilm anode; (3) how increasing alkalinity attenuates pH gradients and increases current; and (4) why carbonates enable higher current density than phosphates. Analysis of literature data using PCBIOFILM supports the hypothesis that alkalinity limits the maximum current density for MXCs. An alkalinity criterion for eliminating low-pH limitation - 12mgCaCO3/mgBOD - implies that a practical MXC can achieve a maximum current density with an effluent quality comparable to anaerobic digestion.

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KW - Biofilm modeling

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KW - PH

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