BioEnergy Research

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 295–305 | Cite as

Comparative Assessment of the Artificial Neural Network and Response Surface Modelling Efficiencies for Biohydrogen Production on Sugar Cane Molasses



This study comparatively evaluates the modelling efficiency of the Response Surface Methodology (RSM) and the Artificial Neural Network (ANN). Twenty-nine biohydrogen fermentation batches were carried out to generate the experimental data. The input parameters consisted of a concentration of molasses (50–150 g/l), pH (4–8), temperature (35–40 °C) and inoculum concentration (10–50 %). The obtained data were used to develop the RSM and ANN models. The ANN model was a committee of networks with a topology of 4-(6-10)-1 structured on multilayer perceptrons. RSM and ANN models gave R2 values of 0.75 and 0.91, respectively, with predicted optimum conditions of 150 g/l, 8 and 35 °C for molasses, pH and temperature, respectively, with differences in inoculum concentrations (10.11 and 15 %) for RSM and ANN, respectively. Upon validation, 15.12 and 119.08 % prediction errors on hydrogen volume were found for ANN and RSM, respectively. These findings suggest that ANN has greater accuracy in modelling the relationships between the considered process inputs for fermentative biohydrogen production and thus, is more reliable to navigate the optimization space.


Biohydrogen production Dark fermentation Artificial neural network Response surface model Genetic algorithm 



The financial assistance of the National Research Foundation (NRF) towards this research is hereby acknowledged. Opinions expressed and conclusions arrived at, are those of the authors and are not necessarily to be attributed to the NRF.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Discipline of Microbiology, School of Life SciencesUniversity of KwaZulu-Natal (PMB)ScottsvilleSouth Africa

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