Long-term stability of bioelectricity generation coupled with tetrathionate disproportionation

Mira L K Sulonen, Aino Maija Lakaniemi, Marika E. Kokko, Jaakko A. Puhakka

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    To prevent uncontrolled acidification of the environment, reduced inorganic sulfur compounds (RISCs) can be bioelectrochemically removed from water streams. The long-term stability of bioelectricity production from tetrathionate (S4O6 2-) was studied in highly acidic conditions (pH <2.5) in two-chamber fed-batch microbial fuel cells (MFCs). The maximum current density was improved from previously reported 80 mA m-2 to 225 mA m-2 by optimizing the external resistance. The observed reaction products of tetrathionate disproportionation were sulfate and elemental sulfur. In long-term run, stable electricity production was obtained for over 700 days with the average current density of 150 mA m-2. The internal resistance of the MFC decreased over time and no biofouling was observed. This study shows that tetrathionate is an efficient substrate also for long-term bioelectricity production.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)876-882
    Number of pages7
    JournalBioresource Technology
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016
    Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Acidophile
    • Disproportionation
    • Long-term stability
    • Microbial fuel cell
    • Tetrathionate

    Publication forum classification

    • Publication forum level 2

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Bioengineering
    • Environmental Engineering
    • Waste Management and Disposal

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