Sokhee Jung and John M. Regan
Ph. D. candidate in Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
The Pennsylvania State University
Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) produce electricity by harnessing the electrochemical activity of certain microbes. Characterizations of MFC anode biofilms collectively show diverse microbial communities, raising ecological questions about competition and community succession within these anode-reducing communities. Three sets of triplicate, two-chamber MFCs inoculated with anaerobic sludge and differing in energy sources (acetate, lactate, and glucose) were operated to explore these questions. Based on 16S rDNA-targeted DGGE, all anode communities contained sequences closely affiliated with Geobacter sulfurreducens and an uncultured bacterium clone in the Bacteroidetes class. Various other Geobacter-like sequences were also enriched in most of the anode biofilms.