A critical review on issues and overcoming strategies for the enhancement of dark fermentative hydrogen production in continuous systems

Periyasamy Sivagurunathan, Gopalakrishnan Kumar, Péter Bakonyi, Sang Hyoun Kim, Takurou Kobayashi, Kai Qin Xu, Gábor Lakner, Gábor Tóth, Nándor Nemestóthy, Katalin Bélafi-Bakó

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175 Citations (Scopus)


Fermentative hydrogen production research grows rapidly around the globe to harness “clean energy” by the utilization of renewable feedstock, which can reduce climate change impacts as well as able to resolve concerns related to fossil fuel consumption. Biohydrogen production technologies have been carried out in various modes of operation among which continuous systems promote scale-up and bioH2industrialization the most. Continuous reactors – practically applying mixed cultures – have been adopted to convert both simple and complex substrates generally at steady and relatively high production rates. However, continuous hydrogen fermenters could have several constraints including low to moderate hydrogen yields and therefore, advancements are still necessary. Extensive research has been conducted to overcome the bottlenecks and as a result, dark fermentative biohydrogen technology was already improved via methods i.e. (i) pretreatment of the seed sludge, (ii) design/retrofitting of bioreactors, (iii) optimization of bioprocess parameters (e.g. pH, temperature, organic loading rate, hydraulic retention time, effluent recycling ratio, etc.), (iv) reduction of H2partial pressure, (v) bioaugmentation, etc. In this review, the most particular enhancement strategies of continuous hydrogen production are discussed to provide an up to date information about the latest developments made toward more viable applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3820-3836
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Gopalakrishnan Kumar highly acknowledges the financial assistance from the Faculty of Environment and Labour Safety, Ton Duc Thang University . Authors are acknowledging the support from JSPS (Japan Society for Promotion of Science, JSPS, ID No. P14209). The authors would like to express their gratitude to TÁMOP-4.2.2.B-15/1/KONV-2015-0004, which was financed by the European Union and the European Social Fund .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Hydrogen Energy Publications, LLC.

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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