Effects of an applied voltage on direct interspecies electron transfer via conductive materials for methane production

Jung Yeol Lee, Jeong Hoon Park, Hee Deung Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Direct interspecies electron transfer (DIET) between exoelectrogenic bacteria and methanogenic archaea via conductive materials is reported as an efficient method to produce methane in anaerobic organic waste digestion. A voltage can be applied to the conductive materials to accelerate the DIET between two groups of microorganisms to produce methane. To evaluate this hypothesis, two sets of anaerobic serum bottles with and without applied voltage were used with a pair of graphite rods as conductive materials to facilitate DIET. Initially, the methane production rate was similar between the two sets of serum bottles, and later the serum bottles with an applied voltage of 0.39 V showed a 168% higher methane production rate than serum bottles without an applied voltage. In cyclic voltammograms, the characteristic redox peaks for hydrogen and acetate oxidation were identified in the serum bottles with an applied voltage. In the microbial community analyses, hydrogenotrophic methanogens (e.g. Methanobacterium) were observed to be abundant in serum bottles with an applied voltage, while methanogens utilizing carbon dioxide (e.g., Methanosaeta and Methanosarcina) were dominant in serum bottles without an applied voltage. Taken together, the applied voltage on conductive materials might not be effective to promote DIET in methane production. Instead, it appeared to generate a condition for hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-172
Number of pages8
JournalWaste Management
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning ( 2013R1A1A1076048 ), ( 2015K2A7A1035918 ), ( 2015R1A2A1A16074925 ) and supported by the KU-KIST Graduate School Project . An additional research fund was provided by the Korea Ministry of Environment , as a Waste to Energy and Recycling Human Resource Development Project . Appendix A


  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Direct interspecies electron transfer
  • Methanobacterium
  • Methanogenesis
  • Methanosaeta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal


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