Swine manure fermentation for hydrogen production

Jun Zhu, Yecong Li, Xiao Wu, Curtis Miller, Paul L Chen, R. R Ruan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Biohydrogen fermentation using liquid swine manure as substrate supplemented with glucose was investigated in this project. Experiments were conducted using a semi-continuously-fed fermenter (8 L in total volume and 4 L in working volume) with varying pHs from 4.7 through 5.9 under controlled temperature (35 ± 1 °C). The hydraulic retention time (HRT) tested include 16, 20, and 24 h; however, in two pH conditions (5.0 and 5.3), an additional HRT of 12 h was also tried. The experimental design combining HRT and pH provided insight on the fermenter performance in terms of hydrogen generation. The results indicated that both HRT and pH had profound influences on fermentative hydrogen productivity. A rising HRT would lead to greater variation in hydrogen concentration in the offgas and the best HRT was found to be 16 h for the fermenter in this study. The best pH value in correspondence to the highest hydrogen generation was revealed to be 5.0 among all the pHs studied. There was no obvious inhibition on hydrogen production by methanogenesis when methane content in the offgas was lower than 2%. Otherwise, an inverse linear relationship between hydrogen and methane content was observed with a correlation coefficient of 0.9699. Therefore, to increase hydrogen content in the offgas, methane production has to be limited to below 2%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5472-5477
Number of pages6
JournalBioresource Technology
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 1 2009


  • Bioenergy
  • Fermentation
  • Hydrogen production
  • Swine manure

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