Simultaneous hydrogen utilization and in situ biogas upgrading in an anaerobic reactor

Gang Luo, Sara Johansson, Kanokwan Boe, Li Xie, Qi Zhou, Irini Angelidaki

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    The possibility of converting hydrogen to methane and simultaneous upgrading of biogas was investigated in both batch tests and fully mixed biogas reactor, simultaneously fed with manure and hydrogen. Batch experiments showed that hydrogen could be converted to methane by hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis with conversion of more than 90% of the consumed hydrogen to methane. The hydrogen consumption rates were affected by both $P_{{\rm H}_{{\rm 2}} } $ (hydrogen partial pressure) and mixing intensity. Inhibition of propionate and butyrate degradation by hydrogen (1 atm) was only observed under high mixing intensity (shaking speed 300 rpm). Continuous addition of hydrogen (flow rate of 28.6 mL/(L/h)) to an anaerobic reactor fed with manure, showed that more than 80% of the hydrogen was utilized. The propionate and butyrate level in the reactor was not significantly affected by the hydrogen addition. The methane production rate of the reactor with H2 addition was 22% higher, compared to the control reactor only fed with manure. The CO2 content in the produced biogas was only 15%, while it was 38% in the control reactor. However, the addition of hydrogen resulted in increase of pH (from 8.0 to 8.3) due to the consumption of bicarbonate, which subsequently caused slight inhibition of methanogenesis. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2012; 109:1088–1094. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering (Print)
    Issue number4
    Pages (from-to)1088-1094
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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