Phenol degradation in bio-electrochemical cells

Hen Friman, Alex Schechter, Yeshayahu Nitzan, Rivka Cahan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


A bio-electrochemical cell (BEC) was constructed as a typical two-chamber microbial fuel cell (MFC), except that it was operated under external voltage instead of constant resistance as in an MFC. The anode chamber contained a pure culture of Cupriavidus basilensis grown in a medium containing phenol as the sole carbon source. Operating the BEC under an external voltage of 125mV led to an increase in bacterial cell growth to 0.53OD600 nm, while the control (open circuit potential) BEC reached only 0.24OD. The total dry weight of the bacterial cells in the poised potential BEC was 48% higher than in the control BEC. The peak current generated in the poised potential BEC was 478mAm-2. The level of residual phenol in the control potential BEC was between 47% and 78% higher than that in the poised potential BEC. The rate of phenol degradation as a function of 0.1OD was about 0.36mg phenoll-1h-1. Cyclic voltammetry examination at the end of the experiment demonstrated an oxidation peak above-0.06V. In conclusion, operating the BEC at 125mV enabled growth of a pure culture of C.basilensis, current formation, and phenol degradation even in an oxygen-limited environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-160
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Biodeterioration and Biodegradation
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • Bio-electrochemical cell
  • Cupriavidus basilensis
  • Phenol


Dive into the research topics of 'Phenol degradation in bio-electrochemical cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this