, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 551–563 | Cite as

Effects of temperature and initial pH on biohydrogen production from food-processing wastewater using anaerobic mixed cultures

Original Paper


This study attempted to determine the optimal temperature and initial cultivation pH by conducting a series of batch tests in stirred-tank bioreactor using fructose-producing wastewater as an organic substrate. The bioreactor temperature was controlled at 35–55°C with an initial pH of 4–8. Hydrogen production efficiency was assessed using specific hydrogen production potential (SHPP) and the maximum specific hydrogen production rate (SHPRm). Experimental results indicated that temperature and initial pH markedly affected SHPP and SHPRm, volatile fatty acids distribution as well as the ratio of butyrate/acetate (BHu/HAc). Two-fold higher SHPP and SHPRm were obtained at thermophilic condition (55°C) than those at mesophilic condition (35°C). The optimal initial pH was 6 for hydrogen production with peak values of SHPP of 166.8 ml-H2/g-COD and SHPRm of 26.7 ml-H2/g-VSS-h for fructose-processing wastewater. Molasses-processing wastewater had a higher SHPP (187.0 ml-H2/g-COD) and SHPRm (42.7 ml-H2/gVSS-h) than fructose-processing wastewater at pH 6. The DGGE profiles indicated that molasses-processing wastewater is a better substrate than fructose-processing wastewater for growth of hydrogen-producing bacteria due to the high staining intensity of bands.


Temperature Initial pH Biohydrogen Food-processing wastewater Butyrate/acetate ratio 



The authors would like to thank the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Taiwan for financially supporting this research. Ted Knoy is appreciated for his editorial assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Safety, Health and Environmental EngineeringCentral Taiwan University of Science and TechnologyTaichungTaiwan
  2. 2.Environmental Biotechnology ProgramDevelopment Center for BiotechnologyTaipeiTaiwan

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