Analysis of Exoelectrogenic Bacterial Communities Present in Different Brine Pools of the Red Sea

  • Juan F. Ortiz Medina

Student thesis: Master's Thesis

Abstract

One contemporary issue experienced worldwide is the climate change due to the combustion of fossil fuels. Microbial Electrochemical Systems pose as an alternative for energy generation. In this technology, microorganisms are primarily responsible for electricity production. To improve the performance it is reasonable to think that bacteria from diverse environments, such as the brine pools of the Red Sea, can be utilized in these systems. Samples from three brine pools: Atlantis II, Valdivia, and Kebrit Deeps, were analyzed using Microbial Electrochemical Cells, with a poised potential at +0.2 V (vs. Ag/AgCl) and acetate as electron donor, to evaluate the exoelectrogenic activity by the present microorganisms. Only samples from Valdivia Deep were able to produce a noticeable current of 6 A/m2. This result, along with acetate consumption and changes on the redox activity measured with cyclic voltammetry, provides arguments to con rm the presence of exoelectrogenic bacteria in this environment. Further characterization using microscopy and molecular biology techniques is required, to obtain the most amount of information about these microorganisms and their potential use in bioelectrochemical technologies.
Date of AwardMay 2014
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Biological, Environmental Science and Engineering
SupervisorPascal Saikaly (Supervisor)

Keywords

  • brine pools
  • Red Sea
  • exoelectrogenic bacteria
  • Microbial Fuel Cells

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