Laura Rago

Laura Rago
Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung | UFZ · Department of Environmental Microbiology

PhD in Biotecnology 🧬 https://www.linkedin.com/in/laura-rago/

About

39
Publications
4,819
Reads
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749
Citations
Citations since 2016
26 Research Items
714 Citations
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2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120140
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120140
Additional affiliations
October 2018 - September 2020
Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung
Position
  • PostDoc Position
January 2018 - May 2018
Universidade NOVA de Lisboa
Position
  • PostDoc Position
May 2016 - May 2018
University of Milan
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
October 2011 - September 2015
Autonomous University of Barcelona
Field of study
  • Biotechnology
November 2008 - July 2011
Universita' degli Studi "Magna Græcia" di Catanzaro
Field of study
  • Medical and farmaceutical biotechnology
October 2004 - July 2008

Publications

Publications (39)
Article
2-Bromoethanesulfonate (BES) is the most reported chemical inhibitor for methanogenesis in laboratory-scale bioelectrochemical systems. However, there is doubt about BES's long-term effectiveness in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). We observed BES degradation in MFCs, whereas not in microbial electrolysis cells (MECs). Our results suggest that BES degr...
Article
A single-chamber microbial electrolysis cell (MEC) aiming at hydrogen production with acetate as sole carbon source failed due to methanogenesis build-up despite the significant amount of 2-bromoethanesulfonate (BES) dosage, 50 mM. Specific batch experiments and a thorough microbial community analysis, pyrosequencing and qPCR, of cathode, anode and...
Article
This work reports the first successful enrichment and operation of alkaline bioelectrochemical systems (microbial fuel cells, MFC, and microbial electrolisys cells, MEC). Alkaline (pH = 9.3) bioelectrochemical hydrogen production presented better performance (+ 117%) compared to conventional neutral conditions (2.6 vs 1.2 LH2·L− 1REACTOR·d− 1). Pyr...
Article
Microbial electrochemical systems (MXCs) are an emerging technology aiming at recovering energy contained in wastewaters either as electrical energy in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) or as hydrogen in microbial electrolysis cells (MECs). Successful results have been reported with readily biodegradable substrates, but its performance with real complex...
Article
Full-text available
Dissolved oxygen (DO) at cathodic interface is a critical factor influencing microbial fuel cells (MFC) performance. In this work, three MFCs were operated with cathode under different DO conditions: i) air–breathing (A-MFC); ii) water-submerged (W-MFC) and iii) assisted by photosynthetic microorganisms (P-MFC). A plateau of maximum current was rea...
Article
Geobacter sulfurreducens is the model for electroactive microorganisms (EAM). EAM can use solid state terminal electron acceptors (TEA) including anodes via extracellular electron transfer (EET). Yield coefficients relate the produced cell number or biomass to the oxidized substrate or the reduced TEA. These data are not yet sufficiently available...
Article
The gut microbiome is not only an indicator of different pathologies, but it also influences metabolism and overall health of the host. Recently, microorganisms inherent to the gut microbiome, such as Listeria monocytogenes, Enterococcus faecalis and Clostridium cochlearium , were demonstrated to be electroac-tive, i.e. to perform extracellular ele...
Article
Microbial electroactivity, the metabolically relevant transfer of electrons between microorganisms and solid conductors, was first discovered for now well characterized model organisms from hypoxic or anaerobic water or sediment samples. Recent findings indicate that the metabolic trait of electroactivity might as well be important within the micro...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The industrial synthesis (Haber-Bosch process) of mineral-N has been showing its dark side. Facing the enormous challenge of feeding humankind new technological solutions should enable sustainable nitrogen (N) fixation, to preserve soil fertility. We introduce a new type of microbial electrosynthesis, aimed at simultaneously fixing N2 and inorganic...
Article
The industrial synthesis (Haber-Bosch process) of mineral-N has been showing its dark side. Facing the enormous challenge of feeding humankind new technological solutions should enable sustainable nitrogen (N) fixation, to preserve soil fertility. We introduce a new type of microbial electrosynthesis, aimed at simultaneously fixing N 2 and inorgani...
Article
Crude glycerol is an undesired by-product of biodiesel production with a low commercial value (i.e. a ton of biodiesel results in around 110 kg of crude glycerol) and, thus, glycerol needs valorization. In particular, there is a need of providing a benefit to alkaline wastewaters from biodiesel production with excess of glycerol. Bioelectrochemical...
Chapter
Electro-Fermentation—Microbial Electrochemistry as New Frontier in Biomass Refineries and Industrial Fermentations, provides a comprehensive overview of electro-fermentation, while highlighting its potential paths toward application. The chapter also discusses potential benefits of this new approach along with the possibilities to increase carbon e...
Article
A new approach to microbial electrosynthesis is proposed, aimed at producing whole biomass from N2 and inorganic carbon, by electrostimulation of complex microbial communities. On a carbon-based conductor under constant polarization (−0.7 V vs SHE), an electroactive biofilm was enriched with autotrophic nitrogen fixing microorganims and led to biom...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The industrial synthesis (Haber-Bosch process) of mineral-N has been showing its dark side. Facing the enormous challenge of feeding humankind new technological solutions should enable sustainable nitrogen (N) fixation, to preserve soil fertility. We introduce a new type of microbial electrosynthesis, aimed at simultaneously fixing N2 and inorganic...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Inorganic salts deposition and biofouling have been hindering long-term operation of bioelectrochemical systems (BES) applied to wastewater treatment. Here, an innovative type of BES is proposed (called microbial recycling cells, MRCs), where these phenomena are an advantage. MRCs are fabricated with low-cost, biocompatible and fully-recyclable mat...
Article
Full-text available
In a very near future, renewable electricity produced by photovoltaic and eolic is destined to be the cheapest form of energy. As these sources can’t be constant in time, new industrial research challenges have already been shifted to electricity storage from the grid. Here we present an innovative concept of electricity storage system, based on th...
Article
BACKGROUND Implementation of microbial fuel cells (MFC) requires high coulombic efficiency (CE) for its operation to be more efficient. However, cathodic environments in air cathode MFC provide both carbon source and oxygen and, therefore, a naturally growing heterotrophic biofilm is developed. A priori this biofilm would decrease the power generat...
Article
Full-text available
Recently, terracotta has attracted interest as low-cost and biocompatible material to build separators in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). However, the influence of a non-conductive material like terracotta on electroactive microbiological communities remains substantially unexplored. This study aims at describing the microbial pools developed from two...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Here we present a complete shift in the way to look at microbial fuel cells (MFCs), definitively beyond energy-harvesting and with a new goal: recovering carbon and nutrients from wastewater and fabricating bio-based renewable fertilizers. For nearly two decades, MFCs have been extensively studied for their potential use in wastewater treatment and...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Low-cost architectures could give competitive advantage in scaling-up microbial fuel cells (MFCs). In this work we propose novel solutions for cylindrical MFC design, based on Giant Cane (Arundo Donax L.), available as agricultural residues. Giant Cane is naturally cylindrical and porous and can be used (as it is) as separator or (pyrolized) as cat...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We propose a comparison of different microbial communities enriched in four different designs of MFCs: gas diffusion layer (GDL) cathodes exposed to MFC1) air; MFC2) photosynthetic cultures; MFC3) water; and MFC4) air-cathodes separated by a terracotta membrane. All anodic chambers were inoculated with the same swine-farming wastewater and run for...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In the near future, photovoltaics and wind turbines will be considered as primary sources of energy. Their cost and sustainability will soon meet grid parity and electricity storage capacity will be the real challenge, to buffer intermittent productions and consumptions [1]. To store electrical power, water electrolysis to produce gaseous hydrogen...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The need to better understand the composition of anodic microbial communities is of great importance in studying Microbial Electrochemical Cells (MXCs). Exoelectrogenic mechanisms in microbial species are still an open field of research, and many different microbial strains can show extracellular electron transfer capacities. Here, we compare the r...
Article
Bioelectrochemical systems need an anode with a high abundance of exoelectrogenic bacteria for an optimal performance. Among all possible operational parameters for an efficient enrichment, the role of external resistance in microbial fuel cell (MFC) has gained a lot of interest since it indirectly poises an anode potential, a key parameter for bio...
Article
Thriving under alkaliphilic conditions, Geoalkalibacter ferrihydriticus (Glk. ferrihydriticus), provides a possibility for applications treating alkaline waste streams as well as a possible new model organism for microbial electrochemistry. We investigated the electrochemical response of biofilms of the alkaliphilic anode-respiring bacterium (ARB),...
Article
BACKGROUND The microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology transforms the chemical energy present in substrates into electricity. Starting-up these systems, i.e. enriching the anodic community in exoelectrogenic bacteria, is a lengthy process or requires expensive equipment. RESULTSAn easy and low-cost procedure based on a sediment MFC was developed to se...
Article
The use of synthetic wastewater containing carbon sources of different complexity (glycerol, milk and starch) was evaluated in single chamber microbial electrolysis cell (MEC) for hydrogen production. The growth of an anodic syntrophic consortium between fermentative and anode respiring bacteria was operationally enhanced and increased the opportun...
Article
The opportunities of bioelectrochemical systems lay on their capability of converting waste substrates into more valuable products. Exoelectrogenic bacteria can use only a limited range of substrates, whereas, fermentative bacteria, which do not have external electron transfer abilities, transform complex substrates to simpler compounds. In this wo...
Article
Pall rings, a common random packing material, were used in the biotrickling filtration of biogas with high H2S. Assessment of 600d of operation covered the reactor start-up, the operation at neutral pH and the transition from neutral to acid pH. During the start-up period, operational parameters such as the aeration rate and the trickling liquid ve...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
Efforts in designing and scaling-up APPlicative bioelectrochemical systems. 1. Nutrient recovery during agro-food wastewater treatment. 2. Environmental sensing. 3. Electrofermentation reactors. Project (RBSI14JKU3) financed by the SIR2014 Grant, Italian Ministry of University and Research (MIUR).