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Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering

Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2016, Vol. 10 Issue (3) : 531-538
Mechanisms behind the accelerated extracellular electron transfer in Geobacter sulfurreducens DL-1 by modifying gold electrode with self-assembled monolayers
Feng ZHANG,Shengsong YU,Jie LI,Wenwei LI,Hanqing YU()
CAS Key Laboratory of Urban Pollutant Conversion, Department of Chemistry, University of Science & Technology of China, Hefei 230026, China
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Modification of electrode surface with carboxylic acid terminated alkanethiol self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) has been found to be an effective approach to improve the extracellular electron transfer (EET) of electrochemically active bacteria (EAB) on electrode surface, but the underlying mechanism behind such enhanced EET remains unclear. In this work, the gold electrodes modified by mercapto-acetic acid and mercapto-ethylamine (Au-COOH, Au-NH2) were used as anodes in microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) inoculated with Geobacter sulfurreducens DL-1, and their electrochemical performance and the bacteria-electrode interactions were investigated. Results showed that the Fe(CN)63-/4- redox reaction occurred on the Au-NH2 with a higher rate and a lower resistance than that on the Au or the Au-COOH. Both the MECs with the Au-COOH and Au-NH2 anodes exhibited a higher current density than that with a bare Au anode. The biofilm formed on the Au-COOH was denser than that on bare Au, while the biofilm on the Au-NH2 had a greater thickness, suggesting a critical role of direct EET in this system. This work suggests that functional groups such as –COOH and-NH2 could promote electrode performance by accelerating the direct EET of EAB on electrode surface.

Keywords biofilm      extracellular electron transfer (EET)      Geobacter sulfurreducens DL-1      gold      self-assembled monolayers     
Corresponding Authors: Hanqing YU   
Online First Date: 02 June 2015    Issue Date: 05 April 2016
 Cite this article:   
Feng ZHANG,Shengsong YU,Jie LI, et al. Mechanisms behind the accelerated extracellular electron transfer in Geobacter sulfurreducens DL-1 by modifying gold electrode with self-assembled monolayers[J]. Front. Environ. Sci. Eng., 2016, 10(3): 531-538.
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Shengsong YU
Jie LI
Wenwei LI
Hanqing YU
Fig.1  Current densities of the MECs with the different Au-based electrodes. The inset illustrate the initial 2 h of the result
Fig.2  (a) CVs, and (b) Nyquist plots and equivalent circuit of the Au, Au-COOH and Au-NH2 electrodes in 5 mmol·L-1 Fe ( CN ) 6 3 - / 4 - in 1/15 mol·L-1 phosphate buffer saline solution (pH= 7.0)
Fig.3  Background-subtraction CV curves of the different electrodes in the MECs
Fig.4  SEM images of G. sulfurreducens DL-1 biofilms on the surface of Au ((a) and (c)), Au-COOH ((b) and (d)) and Au-NH2 electrodes ((e) and (f))
Fig.5  CLSM images of G. sulfurreducens DL-1 biofilms on the surface of Au (a), Au-COOH (b) and Au-NH2 electrodes (c)
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