Fermentative hydrogen production

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Fermentative hydrogen production is the fermentative conversion of organic substrate to biohydrogen manifested by a diverse group of bacteria using multi enzyme systems involving three steps similar to anaerobic conversion. Dark fermentation reactions do not require light energy, so they are capable of constantly producing hydrogen from organic compounds throughout the day and night. Using synthetic biology, the bacteria are usually genetically altered.[1][2]

Photofermentation differs from dark fermentation because it only proceeds in the presence of light. Electrohydrogenesis is used in microbial fuel cells.

Bacteria strains[edit]

For example photo-fermentation with Rhodobacter sphaeroides SH2C can be employed to convert small molecular fatty acids into hydrogen.[3]

Enterobacter aerogenes is an outstanding hydrogen producer. It is an anaerobic facultative and mesophilic bacterium that is able to consume different sugars and in contrast to cultivation of strict anaerobes, no special operation is required to remove all oxygen from the fermenter. E. aerogenes has a short doubling time and high hydrogen productivity and evolution rate. Furthermore, hydrogen production by this bacterium is not inhibited at high hydrogen partial pressures; however, its yield is lower compared to strict anaerobes like Clostridia. A theoretical maximum of 4 mol H2/mol glucose can be produced by strict anaerobic bacteria. Facultative anaerobic bacteria such as E. aerogenes have a theoretical maximum yield of 2 mol H2/mol glucose.[4]

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