A novel two-stage immobilized bioreactor for biohydrogen production using a partial microalgal-bacterial (Chlorella vulgaris and wastewater activated sludge) co-culture

Muhammad Asad Javed, Sarah Mohamed Alhamdi Alyammahi, Fatema Abdulla Alhar Alshehhi, Sheym Ali Almukhaini Aljneibi, Salama Ali Obaid Alketbi, Ashraf Aly Hassan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Biohydrogen (bioH2) has the potential to be a sustainable and carbon–neutral source of bioenergy, as it does not produce any greenhouse gas emissions. Various strategies and techniques such as algal-bacterial co-culturing and bioreactor configurations have been applied to improve bioH2 yield and regulate process inhibitors (low pH and high organic acids yield). Therefore, in current study, the co-culturing of Chlorella vulgaris (C. vulgaris) and domestic wastewater activated sludge (WWAS) was exploited in an innovative way by immobilization in two separate bioreactors. The C. vulgaris and WWAS were immobilized in sodium alginate and Z-medium was utilized as a source of nutrient supplemented with 10 g/L of glucose as external carbon source. The maximum bioH2 production of 9.8 and 222.7 mL/L was obtained in microalgal and bacterial chambers, respectively. Acetic acid accumulation was reduced to below 150 mg/L which is 90 % less compared to previous studies and subsequently the pH raised ranging from 7.0 to 10.0 during six days of incubation period. The results suggest that immobilized microalgae and WWAS in partial co-culture tend to reduce process inhibitors by increasing pH via microalgal photosynthesis and bioH2 production via sugar fermentation, respectively. The strategy to split microalgal-bacterial co-culture into separate chambers provides the ability to work microalgae and bacteria separately but in a symbiotic manner.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103624
JournalSustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments
Volume62
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024

Keywords

  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Biohydrogen production
  • Bioreactor configuration
  • Immobilized beads
  • Microalgae
  • Wastewater activated sludge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

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