Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1002/celc.201902109
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) Investigating community dynamics and performance during microbial electrochemical degradation of whey
Author Alvarez Esquivel, D.Y.; Guo, Y.; Brown, R.K.; Müller, S.; Schröder, U.; Harnisch, F. ORCID logo
Source Titel ChemElectroChem
Year 2020
Department UMB
Volume 7
Issue 4
Page From 989
Page To 997
Language englisch
Keywords Whey; microbial electrochemical technologies; electrochemically active microorganisms; wastewater treatment; flow cytometry
Abstract Whey is a main by‐product of the dairy industry and is difficult to valorise for small‐to‐medium enterprises. Microbial electrochemical technologies could be the key for these enterprises to exploit this current waste product. Whey removal and conversion to electrical current was investigated at microbial anodes using potentiostatically controlled half‐cell experiments. The anodes were fed with a whey solution containing ca. 1 g L‐1 COD which can be reliably cleaned, with removal efficiencies on average of 65.8 ± 10.9%. This coincided with maximum current densities of up to 0.31 ± 0.06 mA cm‐2 and Coulomb efficiencies of 37.1 ± 10.8%. The anodes are based on a robust complex microbial community. This was established in bioelectrochemical reactors by end of four batch cycles showing an efficient niche differentiation from following successive enrichments. The microbial analysis demonstrated a division of labour with mainly planktonic microorganisms degrading the complex whey components by fermentation to organic acids, part of which are subsequently used by the electroactive bacteria at the anode. The results show the need for deciphering microbial structure‐function relationships for future process steering as well as engineering approaches.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Alvarez Esquivel, D.Y., Guo, Y., Brown, R.K., Müller, S., Schröder, U., Harnisch, F. (2020):
Investigating community dynamics and performance during microbial electrochemical degradation of whey
ChemElectroChem 7 (4), 989 - 997 10.1002/celc.201902109