Biohydrogen Production as a Function of pH and Substrate Concentration
The conversion of organics in wastewaters into hydrogen gas could serve the dual role of renewable energy production and waste reduction. The chemical energy in a sucrose rich synthetic wastewater was recovered as hydrogen gas in this study. Using fractional factorial design batch experiments, the effect of varying pH (4.5-7.5) and substrate concentration (1.5-44.8 g COD/L) and their interaction on hydrogen gas production were tested. Mixed bacterial cultures obtained from a compost pile, a potato field, and a soybean field were heated to inhibit hydrogen-consuming methanogens and to enrich sporeforming, hydrogen-producing acidogens. It was determined that the highest rate (74.7 mL H2/(L*h)) of hydrogen production occurred at a pH of 5.5 and a substrate concentration of 7.5 g COD/Lwith a conversion efficiency of 38.9 mL H2/(g COD/L). The highest conversion efficiency was 46.6 mL H2/(g COD/L).
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