Impedance Spectroscopy as a Tool for Non-Intrusive Detection of Extracellular Mediators in Microbial Fuel Cells
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB TYNDALL AFB FL
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Endogenously produced, diffusible redox mediators can act as electron shuttles for bacterial respiration. Accordingly, the mediators also serve a critical role in microbial fuel cells MFCs, as they assist extracellular electron transfer from the bacteria to the anode serving as the intermediate electron sink. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy EIS may be a valuable tool for evaluating the role of mediators in an operating MFC. EIS offers distinct advantages over some conventional analytical methods for the investigation of MFC systems because EIS can elucidate the electrochemical properties of various charge transfer processes in the bio-energetic pathway. Preliminary investigations of Shewanella oneidensis DSP10-based MFCs revealved that even low quantities of extracellular mediators significantly influence the impedance behavior of MFCs. EIS results also suggested that for the model MFC studied, electron transfer from the mediator to the anode may be up to 15 times faster than the electron transfer from bacteria to the mediator. When a simple carbonate membrane separated the anode and cathode chambers, the extracellular mediators were also detected at the cathode, indicating diffusion from the anode under open circuit conditions. The findings demonstrated that EIS can be used as a tool to indicate presence of extracellular redox mediators produced by microorganisms and their participation in extracellular electron shuttling.
- Electrochemical Energy Storage
- Electricity and Magnetism
- Atomic and Molecular Physics and Spectroscopy