Thermodynamic evaluation on H2 production in glucose fermentation

Hyung Sool Lee, Michael B. Salerno, Bruce Rittmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

132 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The normal maximum H2 yield in mesophilic biohydrogen (bioH 2) fermentation is ∼2 mol of H2/(mol of glucose). Thermodynamics could be the most fundamental control for bioH2 formation, since proton reduction is strongly energy consuming (+79.4 kJ/(mol of H2)). However, most of the electron equivalents in glucose do not accumulate in H2 but in a range of organic acids and alcohols. Thus, evaluating the hypothesis of thermodynamic control requires the full stoichiometry of the fermentation. We carried out batch bioH2 reactions with a range of pH values that yielded H2 yields from 0 to ∼2 mol of H2/(mol of glucose). We constructed complete electron equivalent (e- equiv) balances for high or low H2 yield by measuring all e- sinks. The highest H2 yield occurred with pH ∼4 and was coincident with major butyrate accumulation; ethanol or lactate correlated to reduced H2 yields at pH 7 and 10, respectively. Although the Gibb's free energies for all overall reactions were similar (-10.6 to -11.2 kJ/(e- equiv)), thermodynamics controlled the H 2-producing reaction coupled to ferredoxin; this reaction was favorable at acidic pH but thermodynamically blocked at pH 10. Also, butyrate formation was the most thermodynamically favorable reaction that produced ATP after glycolysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2401-2407
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume42
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2008

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Fermentation
fermentation
Glucose
glucose
Butyrates
thermodynamics
Thermodynamics
electron
Electrons
Ferredoxins
Adenosinetriphosphate
Organic acids
stoichiometry
organic acid
Stoichiometry
Free energy
energy
Protons
alcohol
ethanol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

Cite this

Thermodynamic evaluation on H2 production in glucose fermentation. / Lee, Hyung Sool; Salerno, Michael B.; Rittmann, Bruce.

In: Environmental Science and Technology, Vol. 42, No. 7, 01.04.2008, p. 2401-2407.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lee, Hyung Sool ; Salerno, Michael B. ; Rittmann, Bruce. / Thermodynamic evaluation on H2 production in glucose fermentation. In: Environmental Science and Technology. 2008 ; Vol. 42, No. 7. pp. 2401-2407.
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