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A new approach for in situ cyclic voltammetry of a microbial fuel cell biofilm without using a potentiostat

Cheng, K.Y., Cord-Ruwisch, R. and Ho, G.ORCID: 0000-0001-9190-8812 (2009) A new approach for in situ cyclic voltammetry of a microbial fuel cell biofilm without using a potentiostat. Bioelectrochemistry, 74 (2). pp. 227-231.

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Electrochemically active bacteria in a microbial fuel cell (MFC) usually exist as a biofilm attached to an electrode surface. Conventional cyclic voltammetry using potentiostat is considered as a powerful and reliable method to study electrochemical behavior of MFC biofilm. In this paper, we introduce a new approach to evaluate redox behavior of an electro-active MFC biofilm without using a potentiostat. Analogous to a conventional cyclic voltammetry study, we controlled the biofilm-electrode potential by computer-feedback controlling the external resistance of an operating MFC. In this way, the MFC can still operate as a "fuel cell" without being "interrupted" by an external device (i.e. potentiostat) that normally does not belong to the system. Relationship between current and biofilm-electrode potential was obtained and showed agreement with a potentiostat-controlled method under similar experimental conditions. The method could be added to our technical repertoire for analysis of bacterial mediator involved in the exocellular electron transfer of a MFC-biofilm, and it could potentially serve as a practical process monitoring method for MFC operation. The application of computer-control components should be further explored to facilitate control, diagnosis as well as optimization of MFC processes.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
School of Environmental Science
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2008 Elsevier B.V.
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