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Resilience and limitations of MFC anodic community when exposed to antibacterial agents

Ieropoulos, Ioannis; Obata, Oluwatosin; Greenman, John; Kurt, Halil; Chandran, Kartik


Oluwatosin Obata

Halil Kurt

Kartik Chandran


This study evaluates the fate of certain bactericidal agents introduced into microbial fuel cell (MFC) cascades and the response of the microbial community. We tested the response of functioning urine fed MFC cascades using two very different bactericidal agents: a common antibiotic (Ampicillin, 5 g/L) and a disinfectant (Chloroxylenol 4.8 g/L) in concentrations of up to 100 times higher than the usual dose. Results of power generation showed that the established bacteria community was able to withstand high concentrations of ampicillin with good recovery after 24 h of minor decline. However, power generation was adversely affected by the introduction of chloroxylenol, resulting in a 99% loss of power generation. Ampicillin was completely degraded within the MFC cascade (>99.99%), while chloroxylenol remained largely unaffected. Analysis of the microbial community before the addition of the bactericidal agents showed a significant bacterial diversity with at least 35 genera detected within the cascade. Microbial community analysis after ampicillin treatment showed the loss of a small number of bacterial communities and proportional fluctuations of specific strains within the individual MFCs community. On the other hand, there was a significant shift in the bacterial community after chloroxylenol treatment coupled with the loss of at least 13 bacterial genera across the cascade.


Ieropoulos, I., Obata, O., Greenman, J., Kurt, H., & Chandran, K. (2020). Resilience and limitations of MFC anodic community when exposed to antibacterial agents. Bioelectrochemistry, 134, Article 107500.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 6, 2020
Online Publication Date Mar 8, 2020
Publication Date Aug 1, 2020
Deposit Date Mar 18, 2020
Publicly Available Date Mar 9, 2021
Journal Bioelectrochemistry
Print ISSN 1567-5394
Electronic ISSN 1878-562X
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 134
Article Number 107500
Keywords Ampicillin; Chloroxylenol; Microbial fuel cell; Anodic biofilm; MFC cascade; Urine
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