Biotechnology Letters

, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 253–259 | Cite as

Oxidation of glucose by syntrophic association between Geobacter and hydrogenotrophic methanogens in microbial fuel cell

  • Godwin E. Oyiwona
  • James OgbonnaEmail author
  • Chukwudi Uzoma Anyanwu
  • So Ishizaki
  • Zen-ichiro Kimura
  • Satoshi Okabe
Original Research Paper



To investigate a syntrophic interaction between Geobacter sulfurreducens and hydrogenotrophic methanogens in sludge-inoculated microbial fuel cell (MFC) systems running on glucose with an improved electron recovery at the anode.


The presence of archaea in MFC reduces Coulombic efficiency (CE) due to their electron scavenging capability but, here, we demonstrate that a syntrophic interaction can occur between G. sulfurreducens and hydrogenotrophic methanogens via interspecies H2 transfer with improvement in CE and power density. The addition of the methanogenesis inhibitor, 2-bromoethanesulfonate (BES), resulted in the reduction in power density from 5.29 to 2 W/m3, and then gradually increased to the peak value of 5.5 W/m3 when BES addition was stopped.


Reduction of H2 partial pressure by archaea is an efficient approach in improving power output in a glucose-fed MFC system using Geobacter sp. as an inoculum.


Electron balance Geobacter sulfurreducens Hydrogenotrophic methanogen Interspecies H2 transfer Microbial fuel cell 



We thank the Nigerian Tertiary Education Trust (TET) fund for funding this research via TETF 2012 AST & D. We, also, acknowledge the Water Quality Control Laboratory, a division of Environmental Engineering, Hokkaido University Japan for facilitating the major part of this research.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no financial or commercial conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Godwin E. Oyiwona
    • 1
  • James Ogbonna
    • 1
    Email author
  • Chukwudi Uzoma Anyanwu
    • 2
  • So Ishizaki
    • 2
  • Zen-ichiro Kimura
    • 2
  • Satoshi Okabe
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Biological SciencesUniversity of NigeriaNsukkaNigeria
  2. 2.Division of Environmental Engineering, Faculty of EngineeringHokkaido UniversitySapporo-shiJapan

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