Electro-extractive fermentation for efficient biohydrogen production

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Colleges, School and Institutes

Abstract

Electrodialysis, an electrochemical membrane technique, was found to prolong and enhance the production of biohydrogen and purified organic acids via the anaerobic fermentation of glucose by Escherichia coli. Through the design of a model electrodialysis medium using cationic buffer, pH was precisely controlled electrokinetically, i.e. by the regulated extraction of acidic products with coulombic efficiencies of organic acid recovery in the range 50–70% maintained over continuous 30-day experiments. Contrary to previous reports, E. coli produced H2 after aerobic growth in minimal medium without inducers and with a mixture of organic acids dominated by butyrate. The selective separation of organic acids from fermentation provides a potential nitrogen-free carbon source for further biohydrogen production in a parallel photofermentation. A parallel study incorporated this fermentation system into an integrated biohydrogen refinery (IBR) for the conversion of organic waste to hydrogen and energy.

Details

Original languageEnglish
JournalBioresource Technology
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2011