Biotechnology Letters

, Volume 39, Issue 7, pp 983–991 | Cite as

Improving EGSB reactor performance for simultaneous bioenergy and organic acid production from cheese whey via continuous biological H2 production

  • Lucas Rodrigues Ramos
  • Edson Luiz SilvaEmail author
Original Research Paper



To evaluate the influence of hydraulic retention time (HRT) and cheese whey (CW) substrate concentration (15 and 25 g lactose l−1) on the performance of EGSB reactors (R15 and R25, respectively) for H2 production.


A decrease in the HRT from 8 to 4 h favored the H2 yield and H2 production rate (HPR) in R15, with maximum values of 0.86 ± 0.11 mmol H2 g COD−1 and 0.23 ± 0.024 l H2 h−1 l−1, respectively. H2 production in R25 was also favored at a HRT of 4 h, with maximum yield and HPR values of 0.64 ± 0.023 mmol H2 g COD−1 and 0.31 ± 0.032 l H2 h−1 l−1, respectively. The main metabolites produced were butyric, acetic and lactic acids.


The EGSB reactor was evaluated as a viable acidogenic step in the two-stage anaerobic treatment of CW for the increase of COD removal efficiency and biomethane production.


Cheese whey wastewater Hydraulic retention time Organic loading rate Substrate concentration Whey 



This work was supported by the CNPq (National Council for Scientific and Technological Development), CAPES (Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel), and FAPESP (São Paulo Research Foundation).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringFederal University of São CarlosSão CarlosBrazil

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