Long-term in situ bioelectrochemical monitoring of biohythane process: Metabolic interactions and microbial evolution

Sijie Huang, Mengmeng Shen, Zhiyong Jason Ren, Houkai Wu, Hao Yang, Buchun Si, Jianhan Lin, Zhidan Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Microbial stability and evolution are a critical aspect for biosensors, especially in detecting dynamic and emerging anaerobic biohythane production. In this study, two upflow air–cathode chamber microbial fuel cells (UMFCs) were developed for in situ monitoring of the biohydrogen and biomethane reactors under a COD range of 1000–6000 mg/L and 150–1000 mg/L, respectively. Illumina MiSeq sequencing evidenced the dramatic shift of dominant microbial communities in UMFCs from hydrolytic and acidification bacteria (Clostridiaceae_1, Ruminococcaceae, Peptostreptococcaceae) to acetate-oxidizing bacteria (Synergistaceae, Dysgonomonadaceae, Spirochaetaceae). In addition, exoelectroactive bacteria evaluated from Enterobacteriaceae and Burkholderiaceae to Desulfovibrionaceae and Propionibacteriaceae. Especially, Hydrogenotrophic methanogens (Methanobacteriaceae) were abundant at 93.41% in UMFC (for monitoring hydrogen reactor), which was speculated to be a major metabolic pathway for methane production. Principal component analysis revealed a similarity in microbial structure between UMFCs and methane bioreactors. Microbial network analysis suggested a more stable community structure of UMFCs with 205 days’ operation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number125119
JournalBioresource Technology
StatePublished - Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Biohythane
  • Long-term monitoring
  • Microbial evolution
  • Microbial fuel cell


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