Microbial Electrosynthesis Systems (MESs) have been referred to as a new technology for a sustainable production of high-value chemicals. These systems combine electro-active microorganisms and an insoluble electron donor (so-called electrode, or cathode). The cathode provides electrons (energy source) that is used for the reduction of CO2 into biofilm growth and production of chemicals such as butyrate, caproate, and longer chain fatty-acids. However, the achieved productivities of these chemicals are still not competitive for practical application. Several works have reported higher productivities as a result of cathode engineering approaches such us cathode design and material, adjustments in the trace elements composition, and alternating applied potentials on the cathode. Despite the promising results, little is known on the effect of these operating parameters on biofilm development and morphology on the cathode. Biofilm growth and morphology can affect mass transfer limitations in the cathode. In this project, we will develop a quantification method to monitor the growth of cathode biofilms in real-time and study the effect of different operating conditions on biofilm growth and productivity. The outcomes of these experiments will provide valuable information to control and optimize cathode-biofilm productivity in MES.
Please apply through the application form below. For more information you can email Tom Sleutels, firstname.lastname@example.org.