Abstract

Thermincola ferriacetica is a recently isolated thermophilic, dissimilatory Fe(III)-reducing, Gram-positive bacterium with capability to generate electrical current via anode respiration. Our goals were to determine the maximum rates of anode respiration by T. ferriacetica and to perform a detailed microscopic and electrochemical characterization of the biofilm anode. T. ferriacetica DSM 14005 was grown at 60 C on graphite-rod anodes poised at -0.06 V (vs) SHE in duplicate microbial electrolysis cells (MECs). The cultures grew rapidly until they achieved a sustained current density of 7-8 A m-2 with only 10 mM bicarbonate buffer and an average Coulombic Efficiency (CE) of 93%. Cyclic voltammetry performed at maximum current density revealed a Nernst-Monod response with a half saturation potential (EKA) of -0.127 V (vs) SHE. Confocal microscopy images revealed a thick layer of actively respiring cells of T. ferriacetica (∼38 μm), which is the first documentation for a gram positive anode respiring bacterium (ARB). Scanning electron microscopy showed a well-developed biofilm with a very dense network of extracellular appendages similar to Geobacter biofilms. The high current densities, a thick biofilm (∼38 μm) with multiple layers of active cells, and Nernst-Monod behavior support extracellular electron transfer (EET) through a solid conductive matrix - the first such observation for Gram-positive bacteria. Operating with a controlled anode potential enabled us to grow T. ferriacetica that can use a solid conductive matrix resulting in high current densities that are promising for MXC applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4934-4940
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume47
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - May 7 2013

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density current
biofilm
Bacteria
Anodes
Biofilms
kinetics
bacterium
Kinetics
Current density
respiration
matrix
Regenerative fuel cells
bicarbonate
graphite
microscopy
electrokinesis
Graphite
Confocal microscopy
scanning electron microscopy
saturation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

Cite this

Kinetic, electrochemical, and microscopic characterization of the thermophilic, anode-respiring bacterium Thermincola ferriacetica. / Parameswaran, Prathap; Bry, Tyson; Popat, Sudeep C.; Lusk, Bradley G.; Rittmann, Bruce; Torres, Cesar.

In: Environmental Science and Technology, Vol. 47, No. 9, 07.05.2013, p. 4934-4940.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Thermincola ferriacetica is a recently isolated thermophilic, dissimilatory Fe(III)-reducing, Gram-positive bacterium with capability to generate electrical current via anode respiration. Our goals were to determine the maximum rates of anode respiration by T. ferriacetica and to perform a detailed microscopic and electrochemical characterization of the biofilm anode. T. ferriacetica DSM 14005 was grown at 60 C on graphite-rod anodes poised at -0.06 V (vs) SHE in duplicate microbial electrolysis cells (MECs). The cultures grew rapidly until they achieved a sustained current density of 7-8 A m-2 with only 10 mM bicarbonate buffer and an average Coulombic Efficiency (CE) of 93{\%}. Cyclic voltammetry performed at maximum current density revealed a Nernst-Monod response with a half saturation potential (EKA) of -0.127 V (vs) SHE. Confocal microscopy images revealed a thick layer of actively respiring cells of T. ferriacetica (∼38 μm), which is the first documentation for a gram positive anode respiring bacterium (ARB). Scanning electron microscopy showed a well-developed biofilm with a very dense network of extracellular appendages similar to Geobacter biofilms. The high current densities, a thick biofilm (∼38 μm) with multiple layers of active cells, and Nernst-Monod behavior support extracellular electron transfer (EET) through a solid conductive matrix - the first such observation for Gram-positive bacteria. Operating with a controlled anode potential enabled us to grow T. ferriacetica that can use a solid conductive matrix resulting in high current densities that are promising for MXC applications.",
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