Behavior of two-chamber microbial electrochemical systems started-up with different ion-exchange membrane separators

László Koók, Elie Desmond Le Quéméner, Péter Bakonyi, Jan Zitka, Eric Trably, Gábor Tóth, Lukas Pavlovec, Zbynek Pientka, Nicolas Bernet, Katalin Bélafi-Bakó, Nándor Nemestóthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, microbial fuel cells (MFCs) – operated with novel cation- and anion-exchange membranes, in particular AN-VPA 60 (CEM) and PSEBS DABCO (AEM) – were assessed comparatively with Nafion proton exchange membrane (PEM). The process characterization involved versatile electrochemical (polarization, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy – EIS, cyclic voltammetry – CV) and biological (microbial structure analysis) methods in order to reveal the influence of membrane-type during start-up. In fact, the use of AEM led to 2–5 times higher energy yields than CEM and PEM and the lowest MFC internal resistance (148 ± 17 Ω) by the end of start-up. Regardless of the membrane-type, Geobacter was dominantly enriched on all anodes. Besides, CV and EIS measurements implied higher anode surface coverage of redox compounds for MFCs and lower membrane resistance with AEM, respectively. As a result, AEM based on PSEBS DABCO could be found as a promising material to substitute Nafion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-286
Number of pages8
JournalBioresource Technology
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019



  • Bioelectrochemical system
  • Membrane
  • Microbial community structure
  • Microbial fuel cell
  • Principal component analysis
  • Separator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal

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