Assistant Professor of Environmental Engineering
The Pennsylvania State University
Certain microbes can ferment sugars to hydrogen and a variety of soluble fermentation products. The theoretical maximum hydrogen yield from these fermentations is 4 mol H2 mol-1 hexose. In practice, however, we usually see less than half of this yield. There are a number of factors that contribute to low hydrogen yields, including the distribution of soluble fermentation products and hydrogen consumption from competing metabolisms such as methanogenesis or acetogenesis. These factors are influenced by the selection of fermentative microbes and reactor operational parameters. This talk with present an overview of these considerations and progress made by researchers here at Penn State to address these issues.