Immobilized Purple Bacteria for Light-Driven H2 Production from Starch and Potato Fermentation Effluents

Darya N. Tekucheva, Tatyana V. Laurinavichene, Michael Seibert, Anatoly A. Tsygankov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus Citations


The goal of the study was to show that immobilized purple bacteria could photoproduce H 2 using dark fermentation effluent (FE) as substrate. Simple pretreatment of an inexpensive glass-fiber matrix accelerated the immobilization process. Photobioreactors (PhBR) containing immobilized Rhodobacter sphaeroides GL produced 0.128 L H 2 h -1 L -1 of PhBR volume (0.570 L h -1 L -1 of matrix) for up to 3 months when continuously fed artificial media with volatile fatty acids (VFAs) or FE from potato and starch fermentations. Hydrogen production was insensitive to NH 4 + up to 1 mM and saturated at 8 mM lactate or 1.5% potato FE (diluted in water and supplemented with critical micronutrients). The efficiency of VFA transformation to H 2 was 50-70% of theoretical. At nonlimiting substrate concentrations in artificial media or FE, acetate was utilized before butyrate. High volumetric rates of continuous H 2 photoproduction and stability of the process are advantages of using immobilized cultures. Use of H 2 photoproduction as a polishing step in the treatment of FEs from dark fermentations increased the total amount of H 2 produced from 0.9 to 4.7 mol mol -1 glucose equivalent in the original potato homogenate.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1248-1256
Number of pages9
JournalBiotechnology Progress
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2011

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-2A00-51376


  • Hydrogen production
  • Immobilization
  • Integrated system
  • Photosynthetic bacteria
  • Potato fermentation


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