Dark fermentation (DF) is one of the most promising biological methods to produce bio-hydrogen and other value added bio-products from carbohydrate-rich wastes and wastewater. However, process instability and low hydrogen production yields and rates have been highlighted as the major bottlenecks preventing further development. Numerous studies have associated such concerns with the inhibitory activity of lactate-producing bacteria (LAB) against hydrogen producers. However, an increasing number of studies have also shown lactate-based metabolic pathways as the prevailing platform for hydrogen production. This opens a vast potential to develop new strategies to deal with the “Achilles heel” of DF – LAB overgrowth – while untapping high-performance DF. This review discusses the key factors influencing the lactate-driven hydrogen production, paying particular attention to substrate composition, the operating conditions, as well as the microbiota involved in the process and its potential functionality and related biochemical routes. The current limitations and future perspectives in the field are also presented.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The Regional Government of Castilla y León and the EU-FEDER programme [grant numbers CLU 2017-09 and UIC 071] are gratefully acknowledged. R. Castro-Muñoz acknowledges the School of Science and Engineering and the FEMSA-Biotechnology Center at Tecnologico de Monterrey for their support through the Bioprocess (0020209I13) Focus Group. Financial support from Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange (NAWA) under Ulam Programme (Agreement No. PPN/ULM/2020/1/00005/U/00001) is also gratefully acknowledged.
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Waste Management and Disposal