Photo fermentative hydrogen production using dominant components (acetate, lactate, and butyrate) in dark fermentation effluents

Yung Chung Lo, Chun Yen Chen, Chi Mei Lee, Jo Shu Chang

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46 Citations (Scopus)


Engineering strategies were applied to promote the phototrophic H 2 production of an indigenous purple nonsulfur bacterium Rhodopseudomonas palustris WP3-5 using major components (i.e., acetate, butyrate, and lactate) of dark fermentation effluents as carbon sources. First, performance of cell growth and photo-H2 production on each carbon source was examined individually. It appeared that acetate was the most effective carbon source for photo-H2 production, giving an overall H2 production rate and H2 yield of 12.68 ml/h/l and 67.1%, respectively. Next, the effect of substrate concentration of each carbon source on photo-hydrogen production was investigated. Kinetic models were developed to describe the correlation between maximum specific growth rate/specific H 2 production rate and the substrate concentration. The results show that using acetate and lactate as the carbon source, the kinetics for the cell growth and photo-hydrogen production can be described by Monod-type and Michaelis-Menten models, respectively, whereas substrate inhibition occurred when using butyrate as the carbon source. The continuous cultures were also conducted at a hydraulic retention time of 96 h using synthetic dark fermentation soluble metabolites (with a 5 and 10 fold dilution) as the influent. The phototrophic H2 production efficiency was stably maintained for over 30 days with an overall H2 yield 10.30 and 11.97 mol H2/mol sucrose, when using 5-fold and 10-fold diluted dark fermentation effluent, respectively, as the substrate for dark fermentation. This demonstrates the feasibility of using the sequential dark and photo fermentation for high-yield biohydrogen production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14059-14068
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Oct

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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