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Bidirectional electroactive microbial biofilms and the role of biogenic sulfur in charge storage and release.

iScience (2021-08-03)
Paniz Izadi, Marten Niklas Gey, Nicolas Schlüter, Uwe Schröder
ABSTRACT

The formation of combined electrogenic/electrotrophic biofilms from marine sediments for the development of microbial energy storage systems was studied. Sediment samples from the German coasts of the Baltic and the North Sea were used as inocula for biofilm formation. Anodic biofilm cultivation was applied for a fast and reproducible biofilm formation. North-Sea- and Baltic-Sea-derived biofilms yielded comparable anodic current densities of about 7.2 A m-2. The anodic cultivation was followed by a potential reversal regime, transitioning the electrode potential from 0.2 V to -0.8 V every 2 h to switch between anodic and cathodic conditions. The charge-discharge behavior was studied, revealing an electrochemical conversion of biogenic elemental sulfur as major charge-discharge mechanism. The microbial sequencing revealed strong differences between North- and Baltic-Sea-derived biofilms; however with a large number of known sulfur-converting and electrochemically active bacteria in both biofilms.

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