Formation and characterization of H2-producing granule in a pilot-scale dynamic membrane bioreactor

Saint Moon Kim, Young Bo Sim, Jong Hyun Baik, Jisu Yang, Ashutosh Kumar Pandey, Hwan Hong Joo, Ju Hyeong Jung, Sang Hyoun Kim

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2 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed to achieve high-rate continuous biohydrogen production in a pilot-scale dynamic membrane bioreactor (DMBR), continuously fed with a 20 g/L mixture of glucose, xylose, and arabinose at flow rates ranging from 40 to 160 L/d. The highest average hydrogen production (HP), hydrogen production rate (HPR), and hydrogen yield (HY) were 570 ± 17 L H2/d, 28.52 ± 0.85 L H2/L-d, and 1.48 ± 0.03 mol H2/mol hexose equivalentconsumed, respectively. The high-rate performance was achieved along with the formation of H2-producing granules after 29 days of the continuous operation. The low-cost polyester mesh in DMBR properly acted as a carrier for granule formation. Granulation increased the retention of bacterial concentrations (g VSS) more than twice, which contributed to the high volumetric HPR. It also increased the HY due to the shift of the metabolic flux distribution from lactic acid production and homoacetogenesis to H2-producing butyric and acetic pathways. H2-producing granules exhibited an average size of 1215 μm, settling velocity of 25.8 to 77.0 m/h, porosity of 0.67 to 0.93, and fluid collection efficiency of 0 to 0.29. Extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) secreted by hydrogen-producing bacteria partially covered the pores of the granules, but the substrate transfer was not severely retarded due to the high porosity over 0.7. Clostridium pasteurianum dominated the microbial population in the granules, similar to the microbial population of the biofilm. This study demonstrates the feasibility of high-rate biohydrogen production via the formation of H2-producing granule in pilot-scale.

Original languageEnglish
Article number139384
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jan 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (Ministry of Science & ICT) (No. NRF-2019M3E6A1103839, 2022M3I3A1094215).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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