Assessment of bio-hydrogen production from glycerol and glucose by fermentative bacteria

I. Dimanta, V. Nikolajeva, A. Gruduls, I. Muižnieks, J. Kleperis


Microorganisms are capable to produce hydrogen during fermentation of organic substrates and industrial waste products can be used as feedstock for hydrogen producing bacteria. One of the substrates that can be effectively used for microbial hydrogen production is glycerol, which is a by-product from the process of biodiesel production, but glucose is mainly used as a model substrate. Different bacterial isolates were tested for hydrogen gas production rates from glucose and glycerol with test-systems constructed in our laboratory. Test-systems were optimised to allow adequate substrate and bacterial strain hydrogen productivity estimation in the liquid and gaseous phases. It was concluded that several of the isolated bacterial strains are suitable for bio-hydrogen production using glycerol as a substrate. Assessment was developed to establish whether microbial conversion of glycerol is an economically and environmentally viable possibility for bio-hydrogen production. The raw material cost noticeably decreases because of large quantities of available crude glycerol after biodiesel production and the highly reduced nature of carbon in glycerol per se.


bio-hydrogen; fermentation; substrates; prototype bioreactor

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ISSN 0235-7208 (Print)
ISSN 1822-8836 (Online)