Effect of initial carbon sources on the performance of microbial fuel cells containing Proteus vulgaris

Biotechnol Bioeng. 2000 Oct 5;70(1):109-14. doi: 10.1002/1097-0290(20001005)70:1<109::aid-bit11>3.0.co;2-m.


Mediator-coupled microbial fuel cells containing Proteus vulgaris were constructed and the cell performance was tested. Fuel cell efficiency depended on the carbon source in the initial medium of the microorganism. Maltose and trehalose were not utilized substantially by P. vulgaris; however, their presence in the initial medium resulted in enhanced cell performance. In particular, galactose showed 63% coulombic efficiency in a biofuel cell after P. vulgaris was cultured in a trehalose-containing medium. This work demonstrates that optimum utilization of carbon sources by microorganisms, which leads to the maximization of fuel cell performance, is possible simply by adjusting initial carbon sources.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bioelectric Energy Sources*
  • Biotechnology / instrumentation
  • Carbon / metabolism*
  • Galactose / metabolism
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Maltose / metabolism*
  • Phenothiazines / metabolism
  • Proteus vulgaris / metabolism*
  • Sucrose / metabolism
  • Time Factors
  • Trehalose / metabolism*


  • Phenothiazines
  • Sucrose
  • Maltose
  • Carbon
  • Trehalose
  • Glucose
  • thionine
  • Galactose