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Issue 9, 2020
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Copper-bottomed: electrochemically active bacteria exploit conductive sulphide networks for enhanced electrogeneity

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Abstract

In this study, we demonstrate that anodic electroactive bacteria like Geobacter sulfurreducens generate copper(I) and copper(II) sulphides when grown on copper electrodes. The insoluble copper sulphides form a conductive network within the biofilms, strongly enhancing the biofilm electrogeneity – i.e., the ability of the biofilm to produce electric currents. Compared to biofilms grown on graphite, the average relative current density of copper-based biofilms was 237%, with a maximum geometric current density of 1.59 ± 0.23 mA cm−2. An additional electrochemical CuS deposition prior to biofilm cultivation further increased the bioelectrocatalytic current generation to 2 mA cm−2. The chemical deposition of CuS onto graphite allowed cultivating biofilms with current densities 134% higher than at unmodified graphite. This approach – the chemical CuS deposition onto inexpensive electrode materials – thus represents a promising pathway for the development of scalable, high-performance electrode materials for microbial electrochemical technologies.

Graphical abstract: Copper-bottomed: electrochemically active bacteria exploit conductive sulphide networks for enhanced electrogeneity

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
23 Apr 2020
Accepted
23 Jul 2020
First published
13 Aug 2020

This article is Open Access

Energy Environ. Sci., 2020,13, 3102-3109
Article type
Paper

Copper-bottomed: electrochemically active bacteria exploit conductive sulphide networks for enhanced electrogeneity

L. Beuth, C. P. Pfeiffer and U. Schröder, Energy Environ. Sci., 2020, 13, 3102
DOI: 10.1039/D0EE01281E

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