A Double-microbial Fuel Cell Heavy Metals Toxicity Sensor

Tao XIE, Yan-mei GAO, Quan ZHENG, Hai-rt, Xiao-hui WANG, Yuan LI, Nan LUO, Rui LIU


A double-chamber microbial fuel cell(DMFC) was explored as a new the heavy metal toxicity biosensor for real-time monitoring in wastewater influent. Four heavy metals were selected to represent the shocks of high-toxicity metals and low-toxicity metals, including hexavalent chromium, and chromium, copper and zinc respectively. Aerobic/anaerobic activated sludge were used as the cathode/anode chamber inoculum in DMFCs, and were fully acclimated within one week, which indicated that this self-powered sensor can be quickly start-up. This results selected anode chamber as the detected chamber, and showed that the DMFCs were able to real-time monitoring quickly from the toxicity substance based on voltage signal changes by optimizing the experimental conditions. The electric quantity inhibition rate values were well correlated with the heavy metal concentrations, indicating that the electric quantity changes were manly dependent on the activity of the electrogenic bacteria on the anode surface.


DMFC, Heavy metals, Inhibition rate


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