Biocatalyst Selection for a Glycerol-oxidizing Microbial Fuel Cell

Biocatalyst Selection for a Glycerol-oxidizing Microbial Fuel Cell

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Title: Biocatalyst Selection for a Glycerol-oxidizing Microbial Fuel Cell
Author: Reiche, Alison
Abstract: Using glycerol from biodiesel production as a fuel in a microbial fuel cell (MFC) will generate electricity and valuable by-products from what is currently considered waste. This research aims to screen E. coli (W3110, TG1, DH5, BL21), P. freudenreichii (subspecies freudenreichii and shermanii), and mixed cultures enriched from compost (AR1, AR2, AR3) as anodic biocatalysts in a glycerol-oxidizing MFC. Anaerobic fermentation experiments were performed to determine the oxidative capacity of each catalyst towards glycerol. Using an optimized medium for each strain, the highest anaerobic glycerol conversion from each group was achieved by E. coli W3110 (4.1 g/L), P. freudenreichii ssp. shermanii (10 g/L), and AR2 (20 g/L). These cultures were then tested in an MFC system. All three catalysts exhibited exoelectrogenicity. The highest power density was achieved using P. freudenreichii ssp. shermanii (14.9 mW m-2), followed by AR2 (11.7 mW m-2), and finally E. coli W3110 (9.8 mW m-2).
Date: 2012
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/22764
Supervisor: Reiche, Alison
Faculty: Génie / Engineering
Degree: MASc

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