Dark hydrogen fermentation (DHF) is a process that can achieve two simultaneous objectives: the production of bioenergy and reduction of pollution. Complex microbiological communities containing efficient producers of hydrogen usually carry out the process. Ordinarily, control and operation strategies optimized the process by chemical and physical factors that usually provide only short‐term solutions and adverse effects on microbial properties. Microbial population optimization methods are designed to overcome these problems using knowledge on microbiological aspects, especially regarding optimizing microbial community structure and property. Optimizing microbial community structure and property should be an explicit aim for the (i) design and operation of reactors for DHF process, (ii) creating conditions that select for the stable and productive growth of desired microbes, and (iii) preventing or limiting growth of organisms that would be reducing hydrogen yields. Microbial population optimization could be managed by biostimulization by adding nutrient species specific for their community, bioaugmentation by adding dominant species or efficient hydrogen‐producing bacteria into the system, and online process control for maintaining their community.
Part of the book: Fermentation Processes
The combination of biohydrogen and biomethane production from organic wastes via two-stage anaerobic fermentation could yield a biohythane gas with a composition of 10-15% H2, 50-55% CH4 and 30-40% CO2. Biohythane could be upgraded to biobased hythane by removing of CO2. The two-stage anaerobic fermentation process is based on the different function between acidogens and methanogens in physiology, nutrition needs, growth kinetics, and sensitivity to environmental conditions. In the first stage, the substrate is fermented to H2, CO2, volatile fatty acids (VFA), lactic acid and alcohols by acidogens with optimal pH of 5–6 and hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 1–3 days. In the second stage, the remaining VFA, lactic acid, and alcohols in the H2 effluent are converted to CH4 and CO2 by methanogens under optimal pH range of 7–8 and HRT of 10–15 days. The advantage of biohythane over traditional biogas are more environmentally, flexible of H2/CH4 ratio, higher energy recovery, higher degradation efficiency, shorter fermentation time, and high potential to use as vehicle fuel. This chapter outlines the general approach of biohythane production via two-stage anaerobic fermentation, principles, microorganisms, reactor configuration, process parameters, methods for improving productivity as well as technical challenges toward the scale-up process of biohythane process.
Part of the book: Advances in Biofuels and Bioenergy