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    Microbial fuel cell (MFC) with live diatoms (Nitzschia palea) displacing bacteria in the anodic chamber generated electrical potential. Unlike other microalgae, diatoms fix 25% of atmospheric CO2, thus releasing O2. They perform photolysis of water by photosynthesis in the plastid during light photoperiod and cellular respiration in the mitochondria during dark, producing electrons and protons, respectively. The electrogenic property of diatom was explored and evaluated by comparing the potential changes with reference fuel cell without diatoms and that operated with diatoms in the anodic chamber. Such photosynthetic diatom microbial fuel cell (PDMFC) employed f/2 media rich in nitrates, phosphates, metasilicates, trace metals and vitamins as the anolyte and potassium permanganate as catholyte enhanced the output voltage by 3rd day. The maximum power density for PDMFC was 12.62 mWm-2 and coulombic efficiency of 22.95%. Besides this, the fixed diatom cells at anode showed about 64.28% increase in lipid production on 15th day compared to that on 1st day along with the increment in formation of complex fatty acid methyl esters and carotenoids during its operation. Hence, diatoms can be envisaged to substitute bacteria in the anodic chamber of MFC to simultaneously produce bioelectricity and other valuable compounds. Further their silica nanoporous architecture serve as good absorbents for heavy metal removal found in many wastewaters. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


    Mohd Jahir Khan, Sovik Das, Vandana Vinayak, Deepak Pant, M M Ghangrekar. Live diatoms as potential biocatalyst in a microbial fuel cell for harvesting continuous diafuel, carotenoids and bioelectricity. Chemosphere. 2022 Mar;291(Pt 1):132841

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    PMID: 34767852

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