Sediment microbial fuel cells reduce sulfide production in marine sediments

A. L. Brock*, K. Kostadinova, S. Trapp

*Corresponding author for this work

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    Sulfate-reducing bacteria proliferating in anoxic marine sediments can lead to release of toxic hydrogen sulfide (H2S) due to absence of dissolved oxygen in the bottom water. Sudden H2S fluxes from the sediment can be devastating to marine life. H2S is oxidized both biotically and abiotically, and here we show that emplacement of sediment microbial fuel cells (SMFCs) can reduce H2S formation in anoxic sediments. In this study, part of the project “Remediating marine dead zones by enhancing microbial sulfide oxidation using electrodes”, we investigated two different SMFC configurations’ ability to reduce the formation of H2S in anoxic marine sediment in laboratory two-cell reactors:

    i. stainless steel anode emplaced in the sediment
    ii. carbon brush anode positioned on the sediment surface
    Cathodes were placed in the oxic catholyte. Sediment and water from Roskilde Fjord were used. Data showed that both electrode configurations strongly reduced sulfide in the water phase. Additionally, disconnecting the closed-circuit reactors (CC→OC) rapidly lead to accumulation of H2S, and similarly, connecting the open-circuit reactors (OC→CC) resulted in reduction of H2S. SEM imaging and EDX analyses furthermore revealed deposition of S on the carbon brushes. Next step will be in situ emplacement in Roskilde Fjord.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2021
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 2021
    EventElectromicrobiology 2021 - Helnan Marselis Hotel, Aarhus, Denmark
    Duration: 3 Nov 20215 Nov 2021


    ConferenceElectromicrobiology 2021
    LocationHelnan Marselis Hotel


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