Hydrogen and ethanol production from glycerol-containing wastes discharged after biodiesel manufacturing process.

Department of Molecular Biotechnology, Graduate School of Advanced Sciences of Matter, Hiroshima University, Japan.
Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering (Impact Factor: 1.79). 10/2005; 100(3):260-5. DOI: 10.1263/jbb.100.260
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT H2 and ethanol production from glycerol-containing wastes discharged after a manufacturing process for biodiesel fuel (biodiesel wastes) using Enterobacter aerogenes HU-101 was evaluated. The biodiesel wastes should be diluted with a synthetic medium to increase the rate of glycerol utilization and the addition of yeast extract and tryptone to the synthetic medium accelerated the production of H2 and ethanol. The yields of H2 and ethanol decreased with an increase in the concentrations of biodiesel wastes and commercially available glycerol (pure glycerol). Furthermore, the rates of H2 and ethanol production from biodiesel wastes were much lower than those at the same concentration of pure glycerol, partially due to a high salt content in the wastes. In continuous culture with a packed-bed reactor using self-immobilized cells, the maximum rate of H2 production from pure glycerol was 80 mmol/l/h yielding ethanol at 0.8 mol/mol-glycerol, while that from biodiesel wastes was only 30 mmol/l/h. However, using porous ceramics as a support material to fix cells in the reactor, the maximum H2 production rate from biodiesel wastes reached 63 mmol/l/h obtaining an ethanol yield of 0.85 mol/mol-glycerol.

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