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Bulletin of the Korean Chemical Society (BKCS)

ISSN 0253-2964(Print)
ISSN 1229-5949(Online)
Volume 25, Number 6
BKCSDE 25(6)
June 20, 2004 

Construction of Microbial Fuel Cells Using Thermophilic Microorganisms, Bacillus licheniformis and Bacillus thermoglucosidasius
Youngjin Choi, Eunkyoung Jung, Hyunjoo Park, Seung R. Paik, Seunho Jung*, Sunghyun Kim*
Coulombic efficiency, Microbial fuel cell, Thermophilic microorganism
A systematic study of microbial fuel cells comprised of thermophilic Bacillus licheniformis and Bacillus thermoglucosidasius has been carried out under various operating conditions. Substantial amount of electricity was generated when a redox mediator was used. Being affected by operation temperature, the maximum efficiency was obtained at 50 oC with an open circuit voltage of ca. 0.7 V. While a small change around the optimum temperature did not make much effect on the cell performance, the rapid decrease in performance was observed above 70 oC. It was noticeable that fuel cell efficiency and discharge pattern strongly depended on the kind of carbon sources used in the initial culture medium. In the case of B. thermoglucosidasius, glucose alone was utilized constitutively as a substrate in the microbial fuel cell irrespective of used carbons sources. When B. licheniformis was cultivated with lactose as a carbon source, best charging characteristics were recorded. Trehalose, in particular, showed 41.2% coulombic efficiency when B. thermoglucosidasius was cultured in a starch-containing medium. Relatively good repetitive operation was possible with B. thermoglucosidasius cells up to 12 cycles using glucose as a carbon source, when they were cultured with lactose as an initial carbon source. This study demonstrates that highly efficient thermophilic microbial fuel cells can be constructed by a pertinent modulation of the operating conditions and by carefully selecting carbon sources used in the initial culture medium.
813 - 818
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