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Poster Abstract

Enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose coupled with electricity generation in a microbial fuel cell

Farzaneh Rezaei, Tom Richard, and Bruce Logan
Graduate Student, Agricultural and Biological Engineering
The Pennsylvania State University

Electrochemically active microorganisms can produce electricity by oxidizing biodegradable materials in a device called a Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC). a variety of biodegradable materials can be used inside MFC as substrates, including soluble sugars, organic acids, and wastewaters. This study investigates electricity production from a cellulosic MFC, using cellulase to accelerate hydrolysis. Added enzymes improved the maximum power generation from the cellulose plus enzymes reactor from 52 ± 2 mW/m2 (cellulose alone) to 99.5 ± 7 mW/m2. Adding enzyme improved coulombic efficiency, COD removal, and cellulose degradation by 132%, 115%, and 85% as compared to the reactor fed with cellulose alone.