A novel bioreactor containing self-flocculated anaerobic granular sludge was developed for high-performance hydrogen production from sucrose-based synthetic wastewater. The reactor achieved an optimal volumetric hydrogen production rate of ∼ 7.3 L/h/L (7,150 mmol/d/L) and a maximal hydrogen yield of 3.03 mol H2/mol sucrose when it was operated at a hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 0.5 h with an influent sucrose concentration of 20 g COD/L. The gas-phase hydrogen content and substrate conversion also exceeded 40 and 90%, respectively, under optimal conditions. Packing of a small quantity of carrier matrices on the bottom of the upflow reactor significantly stimulated sludge granulation that can be accomplished within 100 h. Among the four carriers examined, spherical activated carbon was the most effective inducer for granular sludge formation. The carrier-induced granular sludge bed (CIGSB) bioreactor was started up with a low HRT of 4-8 h (corresponding to an organic loading rate of 2.5-5 g COD/h/L) and enabled stable operations at an extremely low HRT (up to 0.5 h) without washout of biomass. The granular sludge was rapidly formed in CIGSB supported with activated carbon and reached a maximal concentration of 26 g/L at HRT = 0.5 h. The ability to maintain high biomass concentration at low HRT (i.e., high organic loading rate) highlights the key factor for the remarkable hydrogen production efficiency of the CIGSB processes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology