Bioreactor systems for thermophilic fermentative hydrogen production: evaluation and comparison of appropriate systems

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Numerous different bioreactor systems are applied for hydrogen production by dark fermentation. Thermophilic fermentations are gaining an increased interest due to the high hydrogen yields associated with them. In order to reach the best thermophilic fermentation system, 2 types of bioreactors, a trickling bed and a fluidized bed system, were constructed and operated under similar conditions. Both systems
were designed to meet the requirements of thermophilic fermentations, such as reduction of hydrogen
partial pressure, system immanence as its best as well as increasing cell densities. For comparing the 2
systems, the extreme thermophilic organism Caldicellulosiruptor owensensis OLT and a glucose-containing medium were employed. Parameters like hydraulic retention time, glucose concentration and stripping gas amount were varied. Each bioreactor system exhibited certain advantages; the trickling bed system enabled yields close to 3 mol-H2 (mol-glucose)1 and productivities of 0.2 L L1 h1, but the application of stripping gas seemed to be obligatory. The fermentations in the fluidized bed system were characterized by slightly higher productivities (0.25 L L1 h1), but generally lower yields. However, operation of this system without stripping gas was possible.


  • Christian Peintner
  • Ahmad Zeidan
  • Wolfgang Schnitzhofer
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Industrial Biotechnology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S15-S22
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Issue numberSupplement 1
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Publication categoryResearch