Electricity assisted biological hydrogen production using single chamber membrane-free anaerobic reactor

  • Angelidaki, Irini (Project Participant)
  • Karakashev, Dimitar Borisov (Project Participant)

Project Details


Bio-hydrogen is a CO2-neutral energy source with very promising perspectives, as an alternative to fossil fuels for future energy production. Hydrogen can be produced from organic waste, i.e. utilizing an otherwise undesirable burden to society, as a useful raw material for production of fuel for road vehicles or for production of electricity. Biohydrogen production through conventional fermentation has a serious disadvantage, limited by a maximum hydrogen production of only 33% of the energy content in the organic material. A new method, where electricity is assisting the biological process to overcome its limitations and fully recover the energy in the organic matter in the form of hydrogen, has recently been discovered. The method is however in it infancy and requires expensive membranes which makes the application of such technology not practically feasible. Preliminary results at the DTU-Environment indicate however, that membranes-free anaerobic environment can be used for hydrogen production from organic matter.

The aim with this project is to investigate possibilities for develop an efficient and economic process for electricity assisted biological hydrogen production.

With the proposed project we intent to:
- Disclose the fundamental biological process for the fully oxidation of organic matter to hydrogen and carbon dioxide by electrically assisted hydrogen fermentation
- Evaluate the parameters important for biohydrogen production in an anaerobic reactor
- Develop an innovative process configuration, with membrane-free reactors, for efficient biohydrogen production
- Evaluate the process by system analysis.
Effective start/end date01/01/200931/12/2011


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