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Hydrogen production in thermophilic anaerobic fluidized bed reactor treating stillage as organic substrate

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Samantha Christine Santos
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: São Carlos.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Escola de Engenharia de São Carlos (EESC/SBD)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Edson Luiz Silva; Alberto Colli Badino Junior; Marcelo Loureiro Garcia; Sandra Imaculada Maintinguer; Marcelo Zaiat
Advisor: Edson Luiz Silva

The present study aimed to evaluate the ability of continuous hydrogen production under thermophilic conditions (55 °C), from different sugar cane vinasse concentrations in anaerobic fluidized bed reactor (AFBR) using expanded clay as support material for microbial adhesion. Five reactors of identical configuration were used, denominated R5, R10, R15, R20 and R30, followed by influent variation concentration of 5000; 10,000; 15,000; 20,000 and 30,000 mg COD L-1, respectively (with organic loading rate- OLR varying from 15 to 720 kg COD m-3 d-1). The hydraulic retention time (HRT) decreases from 8, 6, 4, 2 and 1 h. The strategy applied to one of those (R5), investigated the co-fermentations effects across the application of different percentages of glucose and stillage in the fed substrate. The other four reactors were operated by adding glucose as co-substrate to the influent just during the start-up period. In all reactors, it was observed a volumetric H2 production (HPR) increase behavior from the HRT decrease. The maximum HPR obtained was 1.96 L h-1 L-1 (R10; HRT of 1h; OLR of 240 kg COD m-3 d-1). However, there was a decrease in H2 yield (HY) and H2 content in biogas, with the application of reduced HRT for all reactors, reaching maximum value of 4.62 mmol g CODadded-1 at HRT of 8 h (R5) and 57.51% of H2 at HRT of 6 h (R20). The reactor operated with the highest concentration of stillage (R30) showed lower values for H2 production, attributed to inhibitory compounds (high concentration of volatile acids in the affluent - butyric and acetic). The cloning and sequencing analyzes of the thermophilic bacterial consortium showed similarity (99%) with H2 producing strains, such as Thermoanaerobacterium thermosaccharolyticum, Clostridium cellulosi, Lactobacillus fermentum and Megasphaera elsdenii. The ability to produce H2, the distribution of organic acids and the bacterial community structure analyzed in all reactors were factors influenced by the increasing stillage concentration and OLR applied. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 10/20332-0 - Hydrogen production in anaerobic thermophilic fluidized bed with vinasse as organic substrate
Grantee:Samantha Christine Santos
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate