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Masterprojekt/Masterarbeit: Anode materials for bioelectro-oxidation of organic acids in an anaerobic digestion effluent


The Research Group Environmental Process Engineering at the University of Bremen (Germany) seeks candidates for a Master Project / Thesis in the field of bioelectrochemistry.

Anaerobic digestion (AD) is a bioprocess in which the organic load of wastewaters or wastes is consumed and the energy is recovered in form of biogas (CH4 + CO2).

But the process control is quite difficult, and can be inhibited for example by the accumulation of organic acids. A possible solution to this is to couple AD with bioelectrochemical technologies in which an anodic biofilm of electroactive microorganisms can consume the organic acids and recover the energy in form of electrons.

The main task of the candidate will be to investigate the performance, in terms of current densities achieved, of anode materials (carbon felt, stainless steel, etc.) operating in the liquid effluent of a lab-scale anaerobic fermenter.

The experiments will be carried out in a 6-electrode battery glass reactor, the electrodes will be characterized by the means of chronoamperometry, cyclic voltammetry and polarization curve. 

The control of the experiments will require the measurement of pH, Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), organic acids and conductivity, while the exact composition of the liquid phase will be determined by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). Additionally, the quality of the obtained anodic biofilms will be assessed by fluorescence microscopy, qPCR and scanning electron microscopy.



Period of time:

6 months


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

M.Sc. Simone Colantoni  - simone.colantoniprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de