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Hydrogen production by dark fermentation of biomass resources


The excessive use of fossil fuels is one of the primary causes of global warming, which has started to affect the earth's climate. Environmental concerns and evolving legislations request more participation of renewable energy sources in the energy market. Biomass represents a potentially major renewable and clean energy source. Because hydrogen is a clean, recyclable, and efficient energy carrier, biomass resources might be biologically converted into this carrier that has a considerable calorific value (1 20.7-140.9 MJ/kg). Fermentative hydrogen production out of biomass is an interesting process for the biological production of hydrogen. This proposal aims to produce hydrogen by dark fermentation of biomass resources at mesophilic and thermophilic conditio ns. Laboratory scale hydrogen producing reactors will be operated to optimize hydrogen production. Emphasis will be put on the application of easily available mesophilic and thermophilic inocula obtained from environmental samples in order to improve the c onversion rate and increase the efficiency of hydrogen production. Initially, different easily biodegradable biomass resources will be selected and characterized. Subsequently, appropriate hydrogen producing inocula will be obtained by using different kind s of environmental samples such as compost materials, wastewater treatment plant sludge, soils and etc. The selected inocula will then be cultured and maintained in hydrogen producing reactors at lab-scale. Afterwards, reactors will be operated under varyi ng parameters to optimize the hydrogen production. Meanwhile, the composition and stability of the defined microbial consortia will be studied by molecular techniques such as DGGE during operation of the reactors and optimization of the parameters. In addi tion, if new bacterial strains appear in hydrogen producing reactors, they will be identified by sequencing relevant 16S rRNA gene DGGE bands

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Boeretang 200