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Title: Unravelling biocomplexity of electroactive biofilms for producing hydrogen from biomass

Leveraging nature's biocomplexity for solving human problems requires better understanding of the syntrophic relationships in engineered microbiomes developed in bioreactor systems. Understanding the interactions between microbial players within the community will be key to enhancing conversion and production rates from biomass streams. Here we investigate a bioelectrochemical system employing an enriched microbial consortium for conversion of a switchgrass-derived bio-oil aqueous phase (BOAP) into hydrogen via microbial electrolysis (MEC). MECs offer the potential to produce hydrogen in an integrated fashion in biorefinery platforms and as a means of energy storage through decentralized production to supply hydrogen to fuelling stations, as the world strives to move towards cleaner fuels and electricity-mediated transportation. A unique approach combining differential substrate and redox conditions revealed efficient but rate-limiting fermentation of the compounds within BOAP by the anode microbial community through a division of labour strategy combined with multiple levels of syntrophy. Despite the fermentation limitation, the adapted abilities of the microbial community resulted in a high hydrogen productivity of 9.35 L per L-day. Using pure acetic acid as the substrate instead of the biomass-derived stream resulted in a three-fold improvement in productivity. This high rate of exoelectrogenesis signifies the potential commercial feasibility of MEC technology formore » integration in biorefineries.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [2]
  1. The University of Tennessee, Knoxville TN 37996 USA; Biosciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge TN 37831-6226 USA; Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Education, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville TN 37996 USA
  2. The University of Tennessee, Knoxville TN 37996 USA; Biosciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge TN 37831-6226 USA; Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Education, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville TN 37996 USA; Institute for Secure and Sustainable Environments, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville TN 37996 USA
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-05CH11231; AC05-00OR22725
Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Microbial Biotechnology (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Microbial Biotechnology (Online); Journal Volume: 11; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 1751-7915
Publisher:
Wiley
Research Org:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
OSTI Identifier:
1369105
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1369106; OSTI ID: 1479376

Lewis, Alex J., Campa, Maria F., Hazen, Terry C., and Borole, Abhijeet P.. Unravelling biocomplexity of electroactive biofilms for producing hydrogen from biomass. United States: N. p., Web. doi:10.1111/1751-7915.12756.
Lewis, Alex J., Campa, Maria F., Hazen, Terry C., & Borole, Abhijeet P.. Unravelling biocomplexity of electroactive biofilms for producing hydrogen from biomass. United States. doi:10.1111/1751-7915.12756.
Lewis, Alex J., Campa, Maria F., Hazen, Terry C., and Borole, Abhijeet P.. 2017. "Unravelling biocomplexity of electroactive biofilms for producing hydrogen from biomass". United States. doi:10.1111/1751-7915.12756.
@article{osti_1369105,
title = {Unravelling biocomplexity of electroactive biofilms for producing hydrogen from biomass},
author = {Lewis, Alex J. and Campa, Maria F. and Hazen, Terry C. and Borole, Abhijeet P.},
abstractNote = {Leveraging nature's biocomplexity for solving human problems requires better understanding of the syntrophic relationships in engineered microbiomes developed in bioreactor systems. Understanding the interactions between microbial players within the community will be key to enhancing conversion and production rates from biomass streams. Here we investigate a bioelectrochemical system employing an enriched microbial consortium for conversion of a switchgrass-derived bio-oil aqueous phase (BOAP) into hydrogen via microbial electrolysis (MEC). MECs offer the potential to produce hydrogen in an integrated fashion in biorefinery platforms and as a means of energy storage through decentralized production to supply hydrogen to fuelling stations, as the world strives to move towards cleaner fuels and electricity-mediated transportation. A unique approach combining differential substrate and redox conditions revealed efficient but rate-limiting fermentation of the compounds within BOAP by the anode microbial community through a division of labour strategy combined with multiple levels of syntrophy. Despite the fermentation limitation, the adapted abilities of the microbial community resulted in a high hydrogen productivity of 9.35 L per L-day. Using pure acetic acid as the substrate instead of the biomass-derived stream resulted in a three-fold improvement in productivity. This high rate of exoelectrogenesis signifies the potential commercial feasibility of MEC technology for integration in biorefineries.},
doi = {10.1111/1751-7915.12756},
journal = {Microbial Biotechnology (Online)},
number = 1,
volume = 11,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {7}
}

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