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Title: Sulfur oxidation to sulfate coupled with electron transfer to electrodes by Desulfuromonas strain TZ1

Microbial oxidation of elemental sulfur with an electrode serving as the electron acceptor is of interest because this may play an important role in the recovery of electrons from sulfidic wastes and for current production in marine benthic microbial fuel cells. Enrichments initiated with a marine sediment inoculum, with elemental sulfur as the electron donor and a positively poised (+300 mV versus Ag/AgCl) anode as the electron acceptor, yielded an anode biofilm with a diversity of micro-organisms, including Thiobacillus, Sulfurimonas, Pseudomonas, Clostridium and Desulfuromonas species. Further enrichment of the anode biofilm inoculum in medium with elemental sulfur as the electron donor and Fe(III) oxide as the electron acceptor, followed by isolation in solidified sulfur/Fe(III) medium yielded a strain of Desulfuromonas, designated strain TZ1. Strain TZ1 effectively oxidized elemental sulfur to sulfate with an anode serving as the sole electron acceptor, at rates faster than Desulfobulbus propionicus, the only other organism in pure culture previously shown to oxidize S with current production. The abundance of Desulfuromonas species enriched on the anodes of marine benthic fuel cells has previously been interpreted as acetate oxidation driving current production, but the results presented here suggest that sulfur-driven current production is a likely alternative.
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AR0000087; DE-AR0000159
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Microbiology (Reading); Journal Volume: 160
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E)
Country of Publication:
United States