Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 68, Issue 4, pp 533–541 | Cite as

Hydrogen production by Rhodobacter sphaeroides strain O.U.001 using spent media of Enterobacter cloacae strain DM11

  • Kaushik Nath
  • Anish Kumar
  • Debabrata DasEmail author
Applied Microbial and Cell Physiology


Combined dark and photo-fermentation was carried out to study the feasibility of biological hydrogen production. In dark fermentation, hydrogen was produced by Enterobacter cloacae strain DM11 using glucose as substrate. This was followed by a photo-fermentation process. Here, the spent medium from the dark process (containing unconverted metabolites, mainly acetic acid etc.) underwent photo-fermentation by Rhodobacter sphaeroides strain O.U.001 in a column photo-bioreactor. This combination could achieve higher yields of hydrogen by complete utilization of the chemical energy stored in the substrate. Dark fermentation was studied in terms of several process parameters, such as initial substrate concentration, initial pH of the medium and temperature, to establish favorable conditions for maximum hydrogen production. Also, the effects of the threshold concentration of acetic acid, light intensity and the presence of additional nitrogen sources in the spent effluent on the amount of hydrogen produced during photo-fermentation were investigated. The light conversion efficiency of hydrogen was found to be inversely proportional to the incident light intensity. In a batch system, the yield of hydrogen in the dark fermentation was about 1.86 mol H2 mol−1 glucose; and the yield in the photo-fermentation was about 1.5–1.72 mol H2 mol−1 acetic acid. The overall yield of hydrogen in the combined process, considering glucose as the preliminary substrate, was found to be higher than that in a single process.


Spend Medium Rhodobacter Sphaeroides Dark Fermentation Gross Calorific Value Total Volatile Fatty Acid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The financial support of the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, to carry out this project is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyIndian Institute of TechnologyKharagpurIndia

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