Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 97, Issue 6, pp 2617–2625 | Cite as

Impact of dissolved hydrogen partial pressure on mixed culture fermentations

  • Stefan de Kok
  • Jasper Meijer
  • Mark C. M. van Loosdrecht
  • Robbert Kleerebezem
Applied microbial and cell physiology


Mixed culture fermentations are of interest for the low-cost production of organic acids from complex agricultural waste streams. Models are developed for these processes in order to predict the product spectrum as a function of the environmental process conditions. An important assumption in many existing models for anaerobic mixed culture fermentations is that the NADH/NAD+ ratio is directly coupled to the dissolved hydrogen partial pressure (pH2, liquid). In this study, this assumption was tested experimentally with mixed culture chemostats operated at dilution rates of 0.05 and 0.125 h−1 for a wide range of calculated dissolved hydrogen partial pressures (0.04–6.8 atm). No correlation was found between pH2, liquid and the NADH/NAD+ ratio. This result, together with thermodynamic calculations, suggests that additional electron carriers such as ferredoxin and formate should be included in models predicting product formation by mixed cultures.


Mixed culture fermentation Intracellular metabolites NADH/NAD+ ratio Thermodynamics Ferredoxin Formate 



This project was supported by the Dutch technology foundation (STW), project no. DPC.5904. The authors thank Rintze Zelle for critical reading of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefan de Kok
    • 1
  • Jasper Meijer
    • 1
  • Mark C. M. van Loosdrecht
    • 1
  • Robbert Kleerebezem
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands

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