Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering

, Volume 33, Issue 8, pp 937–945 | Cite as

Enhancement of hexavalent chromium reduction and electricity production from a biocathode microbial fuel cell

  • Liping HuangEmail author
  • Jingwen Chen
  • Xie Quan
  • Fenglin Yang
Original Paper


Enhancement of Cr (VI) reduction rate and power production from biocathode microbial fuel cells (MFCs) was achieved using indigenous bacteria from Cr (VI)-contaminated site as inoculum and MFC architecture with a relatively large cathode-specific surface area of 340–900 m2 m−3. A specific Cr (VI) reduction rate of 2.4 ± 0.2 mg g−1VSS h−1 and a power production of 2.4 ± 0.1 W m−3 at a current density of 6.9 A m−3 were simultaneously achieved at an initial Cr (VI) concentration of 39.2 mg L−1. Initial Cr (VI) concentration and solution conductivity affected Cr (VI) reduction rate, power production and coulombic efficiency. These findings demonstrate the importance of inoculation and MFC architecture in the enhancement of Cr (VI) reduction rate and power production. This study is a beneficial attempt to improve the efficiency of biocathode MFCs and provide a good candidate of bioremediation process for Cr (VI)-contaminated sites.


Microbial fuel cells Biocathode Cr (VI) reduction rate Power production 



This study was supported by the “Energy + X” (2008) key program through the Dalian University of Technology, Program for Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in University (IRT0813), the Key Laboratory of Industrial Ecology and Environmental Engineering, China Ministry of Education, and SRF for ROCS, SEM of China.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liping Huang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jingwen Chen
    • 1
  • Xie Quan
    • 1
  • Fenglin Yang
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Industrial Ecology and Environmental Engineering, Ministry of Education (MOE), Department of Environmental Science and TechnologyDalian University of TechnologyDalianChina

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