Packed-bed bioreactors containing activated carbon as support carrier were used to produce H2 anaerobically from a sucrose-limiting medium while acclimated sewage sludge was used as the H2 producer. The effects of bed porosity (εb) and substrate loading rate on H2 fermentation were examined using packed beds with εb of 70-90% being operated at hydraulic retention times (HRT) of 0.5-4 h. Higher εb and lower HRT favored H2 production. With 20 g COD 1-1 of sucrose in the feed, the optimal H2 production rate (7.4 1 h-1 1-1) was obtained when the bed with εb = 90% was operated at HRT = 0.5 h. Flocculation of cells enhanced the retention of sludge for stable operations of the bioreactor at low HRTs. The gas products resulting from fermentative H2 production consisted of 30-40% H2 and 60-70% CO2. Butyric acid was the primary soluble product, followed by propionic acid and valeric acid.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology