Characterization of Biofilms Used in Microbial Fuel Cells with Raman- and SEM-based Techniques / RAMBo


  • In situ characterization of biofilms from microbial fuel cells (MFC) by Raman microspectroscopy (RM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM)
  • Exploring the potential of resonance RM for sensitive analysis of biofilms
  • Performance improvement of MFC-systems is based on RM and SEM information concerning the biofilm composition and the biofilm structure

Methods of Approach

  • Resonance Raman microspectroscopy
  • Scanning electron microscopy


The main objective of this study is the in situ characterization of biofilms in a non-destructive manner using vibrational spectroscopy (Raman-based techniques) accompanied by scanning electron microscopy analysis. Both techniques create a powerful basis for information gathering and visualization of multispecies communities embedded in a matrix of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) with the aim of determining the biofilm composition, structure, thickness and heterogeneity.

The studied biofilms are used in microbial fuel cells (MFC) as a biocatalyst converting chemical energy from organic substrates in wastewater to electricity and, hence, have an important impact on the longevity and stability of MFC-systems.

Using this approach, it will be possible to monitor the efficiency of the MFC performance (concerning COD and power density) in bench scale tests as well as in semi-industrial scale tests or to validate new cell / anode designs.

The RAMBo project will provide new insights into the field of sustainable technologies by generating bioelectricity out of the water purification process as an alternative to conventional sewage treatments, making these processes less energy-consuming.


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N. P. Ivleva, P. Kubryk & R. Niessner, Raman Microspectroscopy, Surface-enhanced Raman Scattering Microspectroscopy, and Stable-isotope Raman Microspectroscopy for Biofilm Characterization. Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry 2017, 409, 4253-4375 (invited review),


N. P. Ivleva, Anwendbarkeit der Raman-Mikrospektroskopie in der Wasseranalytik, 13. Weihenstephaner Seminar für Wassertechnologie 12-13.09.2019, Freising, Deutschland