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Bachelor Thesis: Analysis of Steel Cathode-Catholyte Pairs for Microbial Electrolysis Cells


Over the past few years there has been increasing effort to recover energy from waste. Microbial Electrolysis Cells (MEC) are a promising way to recover valuable energy carriers (e.g. H2) because they catalyze the simultaneous degradation of organic matter and evolution of hydrogen at low cell potentials. However, each constituent part needs to be characterized and optimized to ensure an affordable and effective scale-up and start-up.

In this work we are aiming to study the behavior of steel-cathodes in various catholytes to determine their open circuit potentials as well as their corrosion and their polarization behavior during the evolution of hydrogen at low current densities.

For this, students will have the chance of learning electrochemistry concepts (corrosion, electrochemical analysis techniques) and their application in the field of electrolysis and scale up of MECs.

Main objective: Determine suitable cathode-catholyte pair for a MEC

Secondary objectives:

  • Prepare the cathodes and catholytes
  • Measure the corrosion currents of the cathodes
  • Setup the electrochemical reactors

Desired profile:

  • Basic knowledge of redox reactions / corrosion basics
  • Previous experience in laboratory work desirable
  • Knowledge of IT tools to treat data



English preferred, else German

Starting date:  

October 1st, 2021


Prof. Dr.-Ing habil. Sven Kerzenmacher – kerzenmacherprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de