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J Environ Manage. 2003 Oct;69(2):149-56.

Biohydrogen production from starch in wastewater under thermophilic condition.

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Department of Civil Engineering, Centre for Environmental Engineering Research, University of Hong Kong, Pokulam Road, Hong Kong, China.


Batch experiments were conducted to convert starch in wastewater into hydrogen at 55 degrees C at various wastewater pH (4.0-9.0) and starch concentrations (9.2-36.6 g/l). The maximum hydrogen yield of 92 ml/g of starch added (17% of the theoretical value) was found at wastewater pH 6.0, and the maximum specific hydrogen production rate of 365 ml/(g-VSS.d) was at wastewater pH 7.0. The methane-free biogas contained up to 60% of hydrogen. The mixed liquor was composed mostly of acetate (40.2-53.4%) and butyrate (26.0-40.9%). Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rDNA sequences of the 72 clones developed from the sludge at pH 6.0 shows that 85.7% of the clones were closely affiliated with genus Thermoanaerobacterium in family Thermoanaerobacteriaceae; the remaining 14.3% were with an uncultured Saccharococcus sp. clone ETV-T2.

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