Biotechnology Letters

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 359–366 | Cite as

Enhanced photo-H2 production by unsaturated flow condition in continuous culture

  • Cheng-Long GuoEmail author
  • Hong-Xia Cao
  • Fei-Qiang Guo
  • Cong-Liang Huang
  • Huan-Guang Wang
  • Zhong-Hao RaoEmail author
Original Research Paper


A biofilm photobioreactor under unsaturated flow condition (BFPBR-U) is proposed using a polished optical fiber as the internal light source for photo-H2 production in continuous culture. The main chamber was filled with spherical glass beads to create the reaction bed and the cells were immobilized to form a biofilm under unsaturated flow condition obtained by pumping substrate solution over a packing bed at a rate to create a thin fluid film and injecting the argon to maintain the gas phase space. The effects of operational conditions, including flow rate and influent substrate concentration, on the photo-H2 production performance were investigated. The unsaturated flow conditions eliminated the inhibition caused by high organic loading rate and enhanced light transmission efficiency, leading to an improvement in the photo-H2 production performance.


Biofilm photobioreactor H2 production Optical fiber Photo--H2 production Photosynthetic bacteria Unsaturated flow conditions 



The authors gratefully acknowledge financial supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. 2014QNB03), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51406227) and sincerely appreciate Prof. Qiang Liao and Prof. Xun Zhu from Chongqing University for their suggestion on the experiment.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cheng-Long Guo
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Hong-Xia Cao
    • 3
  • Fei-Qiang Guo
    • 1
  • Cong-Liang Huang
    • 1
  • Huan-Guang Wang
    • 1
  • Zhong-Hao Rao
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Electric Power EngineeringChina University of Mining and TechnologyXuzhouChina
  2. 2.Institute of Engineering ThermophysicsChongqing UniversityChongqingChina
  3. 3.Low Carbon Energy InstituteChina University of Mining and TechnologyXuzhouChina

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