The aim of the present study was to assess the influence of substrate concentration on the fermentative hydrogen production from sweet sorghum extract, in a continuous stirred tank bioreactor. The reactor was operated at a Hydraulic Retention Time (HRT) of 12 h and carbohydrate concentrations ranging from 9.89 to 20.99 g/L, in glucose equivalents. The maximum hydrogen production rate and yield were obtained at the concentration of 17.50 g carbohydrates/L and were 2.93 +/- 0.09 L H-2/L reactor/d and 0.74 +/- 0.02 mol H-2/mol glucose consumed, corresponding to 8.81 +/- 0.02 L H-2/kg sweet sorghum, respectively. The main metabolic product at all steady states was butyric acid, while ethanol production was high at high substrate concentrations. The experiments showed that hydrogen productivity depends significantly on the initial carbohydrate concentration, which also influences the distribution of the metabolic products. Copyright (C) 2011, Hydrogen Energy Publications, LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- Sweet sorghum
- Substrate concentration
- Continuous fermentation
- Fermentative hydrogen production