Revealing the factors influencing a fermentative biohydrogen production process using industrial wastewater as fermentation substrate

Iulian Zoltan Boboescu, Mariana Ilie, Vasile Daniel Gherman, Ion Mirel, Bernadett Pap, Adina Negrea, É. Kondorosi, Tibor Bíró, Gergely Maróti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Biohydrogen production through dark fermentation using organic waste as a substrate has gained increasing attention in recent years, mostly because of the economic advantages of coupling renewable, clean energy production with biological waste treatment. An ideal approach is the use of selected microbial inocula that are able to degrade complex organic substrates with simultaneous biohydrogen generation. Unfortunately, even with a specifically designed starting inoculum, there is still a number of parameters, mostly with regard to the fermentation conditions, that need to be improved in order to achieve a viable, large-scale, and technologically feasible solution. In this study, statistics-based factorial experimental design methods were applied to investigate the impact of various biological, physical, and chemical parameters, as well as the interactions between them on the biohydrogen production rates.

Results: By developing and applying a central composite experimental design strategy, the effects of the independent variables on biohydrogen production were determined. The initial pH value was shown to have the largest effect on the biohydrogen production process. High-throughput sequencing-based metagenomic assessments of microbial communities revealed a clear shift towards a Clostridium sp.-dominated environment, as the responses of the variables investigated were maximized towards the highest H2-producing potential. Mass spectrometry analysis suggested that the microbial consortium largely followed hydrogen-generating metabolic pathways, with the simultaneous degradation of complex organic compounds, and thus also performed a biological treatment of the beer brewing industry wastewater used as a fermentation substrate.

Conclusions: Therefore, we have developed a complex optimization strategy for batch-mode biohydrogen production using a defined microbial consortium as the starting inoculum and beer brewery wastewater as the fermentation substrate. These results have the potential to bring us closer to an optimized, industrial-scale system which will serve the dual purpose of wastewater pre-treatment and concomitant biohydrogen production.

Original languageEnglish
Article number139
JournalBiotechnology for Biofuels
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 24 2014

Fingerprint

Waste Water
Fermentation
fermentation
Wastewater
Microbial Consortia
wastewater
substrate
Substrates
experimental design
brewing industry
Research Design
Beer
Renewable Energy
Metagenomics
Clostridium
Design of experiments
design method
Metabolic Networks and Pathways
microbial community
Hydrogen

Keywords

  • Biohydrogen
  • Central composite experimental design
  • Industrial wastewater
  • Metagenomics
  • Microbial inocula

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy(all)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

Cite this

Revealing the factors influencing a fermentative biohydrogen production process using industrial wastewater as fermentation substrate. / Boboescu, Iulian Zoltan; Ilie, Mariana; Gherman, Vasile Daniel; Mirel, Ion; Pap, Bernadett; Negrea, Adina; Kondorosi, É.; Bíró, Tibor; Maróti, Gergely.

In: Biotechnology for Biofuels, Vol. 7, No. 1, 139, 24.09.2014.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Boboescu, Iulian Zoltan ; Ilie, Mariana ; Gherman, Vasile Daniel ; Mirel, Ion ; Pap, Bernadett ; Negrea, Adina ; Kondorosi, É. ; Bíró, Tibor ; Maróti, Gergely. / Revealing the factors influencing a fermentative biohydrogen production process using industrial wastewater as fermentation substrate. In: Biotechnology for Biofuels. 2014 ; Vol. 7, No. 1.
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AB - Background: Biohydrogen production through dark fermentation using organic waste as a substrate has gained increasing attention in recent years, mostly because of the economic advantages of coupling renewable, clean energy production with biological waste treatment. An ideal approach is the use of selected microbial inocula that are able to degrade complex organic substrates with simultaneous biohydrogen generation. Unfortunately, even with a specifically designed starting inoculum, there is still a number of parameters, mostly with regard to the fermentation conditions, that need to be improved in order to achieve a viable, large-scale, and technologically feasible solution. In this study, statistics-based factorial experimental design methods were applied to investigate the impact of various biological, physical, and chemical parameters, as well as the interactions between them on the biohydrogen production rates.Results: By developing and applying a central composite experimental design strategy, the effects of the independent variables on biohydrogen production were determined. The initial pH value was shown to have the largest effect on the biohydrogen production process. High-throughput sequencing-based metagenomic assessments of microbial communities revealed a clear shift towards a Clostridium sp.-dominated environment, as the responses of the variables investigated were maximized towards the highest H2-producing potential. Mass spectrometry analysis suggested that the microbial consortium largely followed hydrogen-generating metabolic pathways, with the simultaneous degradation of complex organic compounds, and thus also performed a biological treatment of the beer brewing industry wastewater used as a fermentation substrate.Conclusions: Therefore, we have developed a complex optimization strategy for batch-mode biohydrogen production using a defined microbial consortium as the starting inoculum and beer brewery wastewater as the fermentation substrate. These results have the potential to bring us closer to an optimized, industrial-scale system which will serve the dual purpose of wastewater pre-treatment and concomitant biohydrogen production.

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KW - Metagenomics

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