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Title: Performance evaluation of a continuous-flow bioanode microbial electrolysis cell fed with furanic and phenolic compounds

Furanic and phenolic compounds, formed during the pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass, are problematic byproducts in down-stream biofuel processes. A microbial electrolysis cell (MEC) is an alternative technology to handle furanic and phenolic compounds and produce renewable hydrogen (H 2). In this study, we evaluated the performance of a continuous-flow bioanode MEC fed with furanic and phenolic compounds at different operating conditions. All hydraulic retention times (HRTs) tested (6-24 h) resulted in complete transformation of the parent compounds at an organic loading rate (OLR) of 0.2g L -1 per d and applied voltage of 0.6 V. Increasing the OLR to 0.8 g L -1 per d at an HRT of 6h resulted in an increased H 2 production rate from 0.07 to 0.14 L L anode 1 per d, but an OLR of 3.2 g L -1 per d did not lead to a higher H 2 production rate. Significant methane production was observed at an OLR of 3.2 g L -1 per d. The lack of increased H 2 production at the highest OLR tested was due to a limited rate of exoelectrogenesis but not fermentation, evidenced by the accumulation of high acetate levels and higher growth of fermenters andmore » methanogens over exoelectrogens. Increasing applied voltage from 0.6 to 1.0V at an OLR of 3.2 g L -1 per d and HRT of 6h enhanced exoelectrogenesis and resulted in a 1.7-fold increase of H 2 production. Under all operating conditions, more than 90% of the biomass was biofilm-associated. Lastly, the present study provides new insights into the performance of continuous-flow bioelectrochemical systems fed with complex waste streams resulting from the pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1]
  1. Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States)
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
RSC Advances
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 6; Journal Issue: 70; Journal ID: ISSN 2046-2069
Royal Society of Chemistry
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE); USDOE Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Program
Country of Publication:
United States
09 BIOMASS FUELS; 59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; Microbial electrolysis; bioelectrochemical systems; hydrogen
OSTI Identifier: