MORE | Spring 2023

Assessing pH Gradients in Geobacter Biofilms in Order to Optimize Energy Output

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In order to draw upon Geobacter’s potential to produce energy and remediate wastewater, a better understanding of the pH limitations, if any, will be assessed. This will be researched by performing cyclic voltammetry at various buffer concentrations.  These pH limitations could result when Geobacter sulfurreducens oxidizes acetate, producing electrons, which could be harvested for electricity, and protons. If the protons accumulate, they could alter the pH, decreasing the function of Geobacter biofilms and the fuel cell unit as a whole. By varying the buffer concentration, the impact of alleviating these proton gradients can be observed.

Student researcher

Jordan Coulam

Environmental engineering

Hometown: Gilbert, Arizona, United States

Graduation date: Fall 2023