Statistical optimization of biohydrogen and ethanol production from crude glycerol by microbial mixed culture

Cristiano Varrone, Barbara Giussani, Giulio Izzo, Giulia Massini, Antonella Marone, Antonella Signorini, Aijie Wang

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62 Citations (Scopus)


Design of Experiments (DoE) was applied to improve the ability of enriched activity sludge to efficiently convert crude glycerol from biodiesel industry into hydrogen and ethanol, using a very simple synthetic medium. Based on Plackett-Burman screening design, glycerol concentration, temperature and initial pH were identified as significant variables. Box-Behnken design and Response Surface Method (RSM) were then used for optimization. The maximum hydrogen yield of 0.96 mol H2/mol glycerol was estimated at the temperature of 37.0 °C, initial pH of 7.9 and glycerol concentration of 15.0 g/L. Maximum hydrogen production rate of 2191 mL/L/d was estimated at the temperature of 37.3 °C, initial pH of 8.0 and glycerol concentration of 15.2 g/L. Finally maximum ethanol production of 7.92 g/L was estimated at an initial pH of 8.0 and glycerol concentration of 15.0 g/L (temperature had no significant effect). These results show that it is possible to obtain both, high yield and production of hydrogen and ethanol together, using a very simple synthetic medium, without trace element- and vitamin solution, tryptone or yeast extract. Copyright © 2012, Hydrogen Energy Publications, LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16479 - 16488
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


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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