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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2011 Sep;91(6):1677-84. doi: 10.1007/s00253-011-3509-7. Epub 2011 Aug 7.

Kinetics of CO conversion into H2 by Carboxydothermus hydrogenoformans.

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Faculty of Chemical, Environmental and Biological Engineering, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, 116012, People's Republic of China.


The objective of this study was to improve the biological water-gas shift reaction for producing hydrogen (H(2)) by conversion of carbon monoxide (CO) using an anaerobic thermophilic pure strain, Carboxydothermus hydrogenoformans. Specific hydrogen production rates and yields were investigated at initial biomass densities varying from 5 to 20 mg volatile suspended solid (VSS) L(-1). Results showed that the gas-liquid mass transfer limits the CO conversion rate at high biomass concentrations. At 100-rpm agitation and at CO partial pressure of 1 atm, the optimal substrate/biomass ratio must exceed 5 mol CO g(-1) biomass VSS in order to avoid gas-liquid substrate transfer limitation. An average H(2) yield of 94 ± 3% and a specific hydrogen production rate of ca. 3 mol g(-1) VSS day(-1) were obtained at initial biomass densities between 5 and 8 mg VSS(-1). In addition, CO bioconversion kinetics was assessed at CO partial pressure from 0.16 to 2 atm, corresponding to a dissolved CO concentration at 70°C from 0.09 to 1.1 mM. Specific bioactivity was maximal at 3.5 mol CO g(-1) VSS day(-1) for a dissolved CO concentration of 0.55 mM in the culture. This optimal concentration is higher than with most other hydrogenogenic carboxydotrophic species.

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