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Open AccessArticle

Accelerated H2 Evolution during Microbial Electrosynthesis with Sporomusa ovata

by Pier-Luc Tremblay 1,2,†, Neda Faraghiparapari 3,† and Tian Zhang 1,2,3,*
1
State Key Laboratory of Silicate Materials for Architectures, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan 430070, China
2
School of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Life Science, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan 430070, China
3
The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability, Technical University of Denmark Kemitorvet-220, 2800 Lyngby, Denmark
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These two authors contributed equally to this work.
Catalysts 2019, 9(2), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal9020166
Received: 14 January 2019 / Revised: 31 January 2019 / Accepted: 1 February 2019 / Published: 8 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocatalysis: Chemical Biosynthesis)
Microbial electrosynthesis (MES) is a process where bacteria acquire electrons from a cathode to convert CO2 into multicarbon compounds or methane. In MES with Sporomusa ovata as the microbial catalyst, cathode potential has often been used as a benchmark to determine whether electron uptake is hydrogen-dependent. In this study, H2 was detected by a microsensor in proximity to the cathode. With a sterile fresh medium, H2 was produced at a potential of −700 mV versus Ag/AgCl, whereas H2 was detected at −500 mV versus Ag/AgCl with cell-free spent medium from a S. ovata culture. Furthermore, H2 evolution rates were increased with potentials lower than −500 mV in the presence of cell-free spent medium in the cathode chamber. Nickel and cobalt were detected at the cathode surface after exposure to the spent medium, suggesting a possible participation of these catalytic metals in the observed faster hydrogen evolution. The results presented here show that S. ovata-induced alterations of the cathodic electrolytes of a MES reactor reduced the electrical energy required for hydrogen evolution. These observations also indicated that, even at higher cathode potentials, at least a part of the electrons coming from the electrode are transferred to S. ovata via H2 during MES. View Full-Text
Keywords: industrial biotechnology; electrochemistry; biohydrogen; biocatalysis; process development; bacteria industrial biotechnology; electrochemistry; biohydrogen; biocatalysis; process development; bacteria
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Tremblay, P.-L.; Faraghiparapari, N.; Zhang, T. Accelerated H2 Evolution during Microbial Electrosynthesis with Sporomusa ovata. Catalysts 2019, 9, 166.

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