Optimization of substrate composition for biohydrogen production from buffalo slurry co-fermented with cheese whey and crude glycerol, using microbial mixed culture

Antonella Marone, Cristiano Varrone, Floriana Fiocchetti, Barbara Giussani, Giulio Izzo, Luciano Mentuccia, Silvia Rosa, Antonella Signorini

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Biohydrogen production from buffalo slurry (BS) co-fermented with cheese whey (CW) and crude glycerol (CG) was investigated using a suitable microbial community (F210) as inoculum. Mixture Design was used to find the optimal composition (%) of the three substrate components and to investigate the effect of the mixing ratio on Bio-H2yields. Maximum H2yield estimated through the model was around 117 mL H2/g VSadded, while the maximum experimentally detected was 111.6 ± 21.8 mL H2/g VSadded, obtained for a mixing ratio of substrate composition of 66% BS and 33% CW (R2= 0.962; p-value = 0.0001). CW was clearly the most suitable substrate (with a relative contribution higher than 46%), but led to a rapid drop in pH from 6.5 to 4, while BS showed high buffering capacity by maintaining the pH above 6. Interestingly, the co-digestion of the different substrates decreased the H2production lag phase λ; in particular the presence of BS shortened the lag period (λ < 3 h) and increased the degradation efficiency of CG. The results demonstrate the usefulness of the mixture design for finding the optimal substrate composition, using BS as co-fermentation substrate to obtain high H2production yields. Moreover the response surface shows the possibility of mixing the substrates in different ways, while maintaining H2production within an optimum range: 105-117 mL H2/g VSadded. This might offer a considerable advantage in the effective management of systems or processes, in which the substrates availability may change over the time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209 - 218
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2015


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

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