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Open AccessArticle

Evolving Microbial Communities in Cellulose-Fed Microbial Fuel Cell

Faculty of Wood Technology, Warsaw University of Life Sciences—WULS, 159 Nowoursynowska St., 02-776 Warsaw, Poland
Institute of Bioinformatics and Evolutionary Studies (IBEST), University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83843, USA
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83843, USA
Institute of Fermentation Technology and Microbiology, 171/173 Wólczanska, 90-924 Łódź, Poland
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Penn State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2018, 11(1), 124;
Received: 6 December 2017 / Revised: 23 December 2017 / Accepted: 31 December 2017 / Published: 4 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Collection Bioenergy and Biofuel)
The abundance of cellulosic wastes make them attractive source of energy for producing electricity in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). However, electricity production from cellulose requires obligate anaerobes that can degrade cellulose and transfer electrons to the electrode (exoelectrogens), and thus most previous MFC studies have been conducted using two-chamber systems to avoid oxygen contamination of the anode. Single-chamber, air-cathode MFCs typically produce higher power densities than aqueous catholyte MFCs and avoid energy input for the cathodic reaction. To better understand the bacterial communities that evolve in single-chamber air-cathode MFCs fed cellulose, we examined the changes in the bacterial consortium in an MFC fed cellulose over time. The most predominant bacteria shown to be capable electron generation was Firmicutes, with the fermenters decomposing cellulose Bacteroidetes. The main genera developed after extended operation of the cellulose-fed MFC were cellulolytic strains, fermenters and electrogens that included: Parabacteroides, Proteiniphilum, Catonella and Clostridium. These results demonstrate that different communities evolve in air-cathode MFCs fed cellulose than the previous two-chamber reactors. View Full-Text
Keywords: microbial fuel cell; cellulose; microbial community changes; air-cathode microbial fuel cell microbial fuel cell; cellulose; microbial community changes; air-cathode microbial fuel cell
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Toczyłowska-Mamińska, R.; Szymona, K.; Król, P.; Gliniewicz, K.; Pielech-Przybylska, K.; Kloch, M.; Logan, B.E. Evolving Microbial Communities in Cellulose-Fed Microbial Fuel Cell. Energies 2018, 11, 124.

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