Production of Electrical Current by Glucose-Utilizing Shewanella chilikensis JC5 and its Coexistence with Geobacter sulfurreducens

  • Marya Alkurdi

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Shewanella spp. are model electroactive bacteria (EAB) and well-known for their broad metabolic capabilities and extracellular electron transfer (EET) properties, which allow them to utilize a diverse range of carbon substrates, such as formate, lactate, pyruvate, and amino acids. However, the majority of Shewanella spp. cannot metabolize glucose, a naturally occuring carbon and energy source. Here, we examine the electrode respiring potential of Shewanella chilikensis JC5T- and its coexistence with acetoclastic EAB, Geobacter sulfurreducens in glucose-fed microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) operated at a set anode potential condition of 0 V vs. Ag/AgCl. Chronoamperometry analysis revealed that the maximum current density was 0.04523 mA/cm2 (CE: 14.55%) in S-MEC (only S. chilikensis JC5T) and 0.299 mA/cm2 (CE: 53.85%) in CC-MEC (S. chilikensis JC5T and G. sulfurreducens) which is 6.6-folds higher in current density and 3.7-folds higher in coulombic efficiency than S-MEC. Cyclic voltammetry analysis demonstrates presence of biofilm and redox mediator for EET mechanisms. Metabolic analysis showed that S. chilikensis as a monoculture and co-culture with G. sulfurreducens can metabolize glucose and produce intermediates such as acetate, formate, and lactate. These intermediates are likely used to generate electrical current. Collectively, these results provide novel insights on electrode respiring properties of S. chilikensis and its coexistence with acetoclastic EAB, G. sulfurreducens to enhance the current density and coulombic efficiency from glucose-fed MEC.
Date of AwardJul 2023
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Biological, Environmental Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorPascal Saikaly (Supervisor)


  • CC-MEC
  • CV
  • EAB
  • EET
  • HPLC
  • MEC
  • MES
  • MFC
  • SEM
  • S-MEC
  • VFA

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