Electrochemically enhanced microbial CO conversion to volatile fatty acids using neutral red as an electron mediator

Chae Ho Im, Changman Kim, Young Eun Song, Sang Eun Oh, Byong-Hun Jeon, Jung Rae Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


Conversion of C1 gas feedstock, including carbon monoxide (CO), into useful platform chemicals has attracted considerable interest in industrial biotechnology. Nevertheless, the low conversion yield and/or growth rate of CO-utilizing microbes make it difficult to develop a C1 gas biorefinery process. The Wood-Ljungdahl pathway which utilize CO is a pathway suffered from insufficient electron supply, in which the conversion can be increased further when an additional electron source like carbohydrate or hydrogen is provided. In this study, electrode-based electron transference using a bioelectrochemical system (BES) was examined to compensate for the insufficient reducing equivalent and increase the production of volatile fatty acids. The BES including neutral red (BES-NR), which facilitated electron transfer between bacteria and electrode, was compared with BES without neutral red and open circuit control. The coulombic efficiency based on the current input to the system and the electrons recovered into VFAs, was significantly higher in BES-NR than the control. These results suggest that the carbon electrode provides a platform to regulate the redox balance for improving the bioconversion of CO, and amending the conventional C1 gas fermentation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-173
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2018 Jan 1


  • Bioelectrochemical system
  • Biological CO conversion
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Electrosynthesis
  • Neutral red
  • Reducing equivalent

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Electrochemically enhanced microbial CO conversion to volatile fatty acids using neutral red as an electron mediator'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this