Bioresource Technology, Vol.282, 425-432, 2019
Enhanced sulfate reduction accompanied with electrically-conductive pili production in graphene oxide modified biocathodes
This study aimed to investigate the graphene oxide (GO) conversion by the sulfate-reducing biocathode and its modified effects on performance of the microbial electrolysis cell (MEC). Biocathodes were acclimated with autotrophic sulfate-reducing cultures using medium containing 500 mg L-1 sulfate. Sulfate reductive rate in the MEC was 230 and 135 gm(-3) d(-1), respectively, with and without 30 mg L-1 GO addition. Raman measurements showed that GO was efficiently reduced to graphene by the biocathode within 24 h. Higher electrochemical activity and smaller charge transfer resistance were detected on biofilm with GO affected. With high electrical conductivity of 307 +/- 36 mu S cm(-1), pili substance were observed on GO affected biofilm. As dominated by Desulfovibrio sp., the biocathode could use GO as the sole electron acceptor and maintained high activity. The results from this study should provide useful information for applications of nanomaterials in the biocathode MEC.