Biohydrogen is considered as one of the most promising alternatives to fossil fuels. It can be produced in several ways (e.g. direct and indirect biophotolysis, photo-fermentation and dark-fermentation) involving different types of microorganisms and carbon sources. However, one common feature for all techniques is their low efficiency, which makes them commercially non-viable. Much research on both micro-biological and process aspects is still needed to improve the productivity of these processes and the highly automated batch fermentation platform AMPTS II is an excellent experimental system to perform the necessary analysis for process optimisation of biohydrogen production.
EXAMPLE 1: Screening microorganisms for improved biohydrogen production
One important aspect for increasing the productivity of biohydrogen generation is improving the performance of the microorganisms involved in the fermentation process. This can either be done by screening various new or genetically modified strains of microbes with minimal labour and high quality using the AMPTS II.
EXAMPLE 2: Screening of various substrates for biohydrogen production by dark fermentation
Biohydrogen production by dark fermentation has the benefit that it is versatile since biohydrogen can be produced from several types of carbon sources. However, not all carbon sources are suitable for this process and in order to find the most optimal ones many experimental trials are needed. By using the AMTPS II to perform such tests, the labour and time requirements can be kept to a minimum while still achieving data with the highest quality.
Accumulated hydrogen production from dark fermentation of cheese whey (hollow marker) and lactose (solid marker) at 6 (a) and 9 (b) g COD/L (Teli et al., 2014).
EXAMPLE 3: Determine the optimal conditions for biohydrogen production
An important aspect of improving the productivity of biohydrogen generation is to find the optimal conditions for the process. This involves screening of various parameters such as substrate concentration, intensity of light source, fermentation temperature, pH and nutrient additions. In order to truly identify the optimal conditions a large number of experimental tests is necessary. The AMPTS II represents an ideal tool for such optimisation processes as the system allows the user to screen many different experimental setups simultaneously (Teli et al., 2014).
Hydrogen yield of cheese whey lactose and pure lactose using different initial substrate concentrations and two inocula (A and B) (Teli et al., 2014).
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AMPTS II - methane potential analysis tool
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