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Title: Microbiological and geophysical analysis of contaminated terrestrial environments
Author: McPolin, Bláthnaid Mary
ISNI:       0000 0004 5370 7659
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis Is an interdisciplinary study of microbial mediated extracellular electron transfer within contaminated subsurfaces. Geophysical, geochemical and microbiological techniques were used to Investigate microbial mediated electron transfer associated with a contaminated plume which was exhibiting a geoelectrical anomaly called a geobattery. Potentially electrogenic microorganisms were identified at the contaminated plume and were hypothesized to be involved in the generation of the geophysical signals defining the geobattery by contribution to large scale electron transfer. Laboratory experiments were used to investigate the potential of the Indigenous microorganisms to interact with microbial fuel cell electrodes. Voltage generation and microbial attachment to the electrodes Indicated the potential of a microbial fuel cell to act as a biosensor. The approach was translated to the contaminated site and a large in situ microbial fuel cell was Installed down boreholes to act as a biosensor. Generation of voltage confirmed the viability of the large scale and un-amended approach. A permeable reactive barrier on the site was found to contain potentially electrogenic microorganisms but the geophysical signals within the permeable reactive barrier were likely to be dominated by an electrochemical effect due to the microbial degradation of ammonium and not microbial extracellular electron transfer. A collaboration with the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil was carried out to profile the microbial communities associated with an another microbial fuel cell configuration. It was most likely the contaminated environment was shaping the microbial communities and not the functioning of the microbial fuel cell.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available