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Bulletin of the Korean Chemical Society (BKCS)

ISSN 0253-2964(Print)
ISSN 1229-5949(Online)
Volume 21, Number 1
BKCSDE 21(1)
January 20, 2000 

Development of Microbial Fuel Cells Using Proteus vulgaris
Namjoon Kim, Youngjin Choi, Seunho Jung, Sunghyun Kim
Microbial fuel cells comprising the microorganism P. vulgaris, thioninas a mediator, and various mono- and disaccharides in an anodic compartment have been developed. A cathodic compartment containing a Pt electrode and Fe(CN)6 3- was separated from an anode by the Nafion membrane. From absorbance-time measurements, it was found that the absorbance of thionin was not altered by the addition of P. vulgaris, even in the presence of sugars. However, thionin was effectively reduced when P. vulgaris was present. These results differ substantially from the case of safranine O, a phenazine-derivative, indicating that thionin takes up electrons during the metabolic oxidation processes of carbohydrates. Maximum fuel cell efficiency was observed at 37 ℃, optimum temperature for the growth of P. vulgaris, and 0.5 V cell voltage was obtained, which indicates that the metabolism of the microorganism directly affects the efficiency. Thionin concentration was closely related to cell performance. When the charging-discharging characteristics were tested with glucose, galactose,sucrose, maltose, and trehalose as carbon sources, galactose was found to give the highest coulombic efficien-cy. Cell performance was almost fully recovered with only small degradation when glucose and sucrose were used in the repetitive operation. Current was maintained nearly twice as long for sucrose than in the case of glucose.
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