Anodes are crucial in determining the electricity recovery of microbial fuel cells (MFCs). In this study, graphene oxide (GO) was used as an anodic material for electricity recovery from artificial dialysis wastewater (ADWW). Anaerobic incubation of ADWW with GO for 21 days produced a hydrogel complex containing embedded microbial cells and microbially reduced GO (rGO). The rGO complex recovered 540 to 810 μA/cm3 of catalytic current from ADWW after 10 days of electrochemical cultivation at 200 mV (vs. Ag/AgCl), which was approximately thirty times higher than that recovered from graphite felt (GF), a representative anode in MFCs. High-throughput sequencing analysis of prokaryotic 16S rRNA genes revealed a predominance of the Geobacter genus (35% of all prokaryotic sequences identified), particularly in the rGO complex after 20 days of polarization. The superior electricity recovery of the rGO complex was attributable to enhanced direct electron transfer via a well-developed biofilm, while indirect electron transfer via an electron mediator occurred in culture using GF.
2017, Applied Microbiology, Molecular and Cellular Biosciences Research Foundation