Simultaneous hydrogen and ethanol production from cascade utilization of mono-substrate in integrated dark and photo-fermentative reactor

Liu, Bing-Feng, Xie, Guo-Jun, Wang, Rui-Qing, Xing, De-Feng, Ding, Jie, Zhou, Xu, Ren, Hong-Yu, Ma, Chao and Ren, Nan-Qi (2015) Simultaneous hydrogen and ethanol production from cascade utilization of mono-substrate in integrated dark and photo-fermentative reactor. Biotechnology for Biofuels, 8 8: . doi:10.1186/s13068-014-0191-x

Author Liu, Bing-Feng
Xie, Guo-Jun
Wang, Rui-Qing
Xing, De-Feng
Ding, Jie
Zhou, Xu
Ren, Hong-Yu
Ma, Chao
Ren, Nan-Qi
Title Simultaneous hydrogen and ethanol production from cascade utilization of mono-substrate in integrated dark and photo-fermentative reactor
Journal name Biotechnology for Biofuels   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1754-6834
Publication date 2015-01-22
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1186/s13068-014-0191-x
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 8
Issue 8
Total pages 11
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central Ltd
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract

Integrating hydrogen-producing bacteria with complementary capabilities, dark-fermentative bacteria (DFB) and photo-fermentative bacteria (PFB), is a promising way to completely recover bioenergy from waste biomass. However, the current coupled models always suffer from complicated pretreatment of the effluent from dark-fermentation or imbalance between dark and photo-fermentation, respectively. In this work, an integrated dark and photo-fermentative reactor (IDPFR) was developed to completely convert an organic substrate into bioenergy.


In the IDPFR, Ethanoligenens harbinese B49 and Rhodopseudomonas faecalis RLD-53 were separated by a membrane into dark and photo chambers, while the acetate produced by E. harbinese B49 in the dark chamber could freely pass through the membrane into the photo chamber and serve as a carbon source for R. faecalis RLD-53. The hydrogen yield increased with increasing working volume of the photo chamber, and reached 3.38 mol H2/mol glucose at the dark-to-photo chamber ratio of 1:4. Hydrogen production by the IDPFR was also significantly affected by phosphate buffer concentration, glucose concentration, and ratio of dark-photo bacteria. The maximum hydrogen yield (4.96 mol H2/mol glucose) was obtained at a phosphate buffer concentration of 20 mmol/L, a glucose concentration of 8 g/L, and a ratio of dark to photo bacteria of 1:20. As the glucose and acetate were used up by E. harbinese B49 and R. faecalis RLD-53, ethanol produced by E. harbinese B49 was the sole end-product in the effluent from the IDPFR, and the ethanol concentration was 36.53 mmol/L with an ethanol yield of 0.82 mol ethanol/mol glucose.


The results indicated that the IDPFR not only circumvented complex pretreatments on the effluent in the two-stage process, but also overcame the imbalance of growth and metabolic rate between DFB and PFB in the co-culture process, and effectively enhanced cooperation between E. harbinense B49 and R. faecalis RLD-53. Moreover, simultaneous hydrogen and ethanol production were achieved by coupling E. harbinese B49 and R. faecalis RLD-53 in the IDPFR. According to stoichiometry, the hydrogen and ethanol production efficiencies were 82.67% and 82.19%, respectively. Therefore, IDPFR was an effective strategy for coupling DFB and PFB to fulfill efficient energy recovery from waste biomass.
Keyword Hydrogen production
Ethanol production
Integrated dark and photo-fermentative reactor
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
Advanced Water Management Centre Publications
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