Maximization of H2 yields by lowering H2 inhibition

Steven Van Ginkel, Bruce E. Logan

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The idea of using low carbohydrate concentrations for maximizing H2 production sounds counter intuitive since, for economic purposes, one would like to use a highly concentrated carbohydrates stream "as is" and recover as much as H2 as possible. However, the yields, as demonstrated in this study, would decrease some 30% when the carbohydrate concentration decreases from 10 to 2.5 g/L. Biomass concentrations increased with decreasing HRT and increasing glucose concentration reaching a high concentration of 24.6 g/L (10 g/L, 1 hr HRT). However, the biomass concentration was relatively constant at the 2.5 g/L level (2.4 g/L) and the biomass washed out overnight as the HRT was decreased from 2.5 to 1 hr. Acetic and butyric acids were the dominant soluble products and increased as the initial glucose concentration and HRT increased. Acetone, ethanol, propanol, butanol and propionic acid were also detected but their concentrations were always < 20 mg/L (usually < 10 mg/L) each. The H2 yields increased as the HRT increased and the substrate concentration decreased. The ability of the bacteria to flocculate and remain in the reactor allowed high conversion efficiencies at low HRT. All reactor runs except the 2.5 g/L run had bacteria flocculated. The tendency to flocculate increased as the glucose concentration increased and the HRT decreased. This is an abstract of a paper presented at the 228th ACS National Meeting (Philadelphia, PA 8/22-26/2004).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1541-1545
Number of pages5
JournalACS, Division of Environmental Chemistry - Preprints of Extended Abstracts
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2004
Event228th ACS National Meeting - Philadelphia, PA, United States
Duration: Aug 22 2004Aug 26 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Energy


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