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Logo of ambexSpringerOpen.comThis journalSubmit a manuscriptRegisterSpringerOpen.comAMB Express
AMB Express. 2012; 2: 21.
Published online Mar 29, 2012. doi:  10.1186/2191-0855-2-21
PMCID: PMC3349616
Microbial community analysis in biocathode microbial fuel cells packed with different materials
Yanmei Sun,1 Jincheng Wei,1 Peng Liang,1 and Xia Huangcorresponding author1
1State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, P. R. China
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
Yanmei Sun: sunyanmei2001/at/; Jincheng Wei: wei-jc08/at/; Peng Liang: liangpeng/at/; Xia Huang: xhuang/at/
Received February 23, 2012; Accepted March 29, 2012.
Biocathode MFCs using microorganisms as catalysts have important advantages in lowering cost and improving sustainability. Electrode materials and microbial synergy determines biocathode MFCs performance. In this study, four materials, granular activated carbon (GAC), granular semicoke (GS), granular graphite (GG) and carbon felt cube (CFC) were used as packed cathodic materials. The microbial composition on each material and its correlation with the electricity generation performance of MFCs were investigated. Results showed that different biocathode materials had an important effect on the type of microbial species in biocathode MFCs. The microbes belonging to Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria were the dominant phyla in the four materials packed biocathode MFCs. Comamonas of Betaproteobacteria might play significant roles in electron transfer process of GAC, GS and CFC packed biocathode MFCs, while in GG packed MFC Acidovorax may be correlated with power generation. The biocathode materials also had influence on the microbial diversity and evenness, but the differences in them were not positively related to the power production.
Keywords: Biocathode microbial fuel cell, Cathodic materials, Electricity generation, Microbial community
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