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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2006 Oct;72(4):635-43. Epub 2006 Mar 9.

Bacterial stress enrichment enhances anaerobic hydrogen production in cattle manure sludge.

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Department of Biological and Irrigation Engineering, Utah State University, 4105 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322, USA.


Methodology was evaluated to selectively enrich hydrogen-producing species present in biological sludge produced during organic wastewater treatment. The influence of bacterial stress enrichment on anaerobic hydrogen-producing microorganisms was investigated in batch tests using serum bottles. Enrichment conditions investigated included application of acute physical and chemical stresses: wet heat, dry heat and desiccation, use of a methanogen inhibitor, freezing and thawing, and chemical acidification with and without preacidification of the sludge at pH 3. For each enrichment sample, cultivation pH value was set at an initial value of 7. After application of selective enrichment (by bacterial stress), hydrogen production was significantly higher than that of untreated original sludge. Hydrogen production from the inocula with bacterial stress enrichment was 1.9-9.8 times greater when compared with control sludge. Chemical acidification using perchloric acid showed the best hydrogen production potential, irrespective of preacidification. Enhancement is due to the selective capture of hydrogen-producing sporeformers, which induces altered anaerobic fermentative metabolism.

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