Unexpectedly low biohydrogen yields in co-fermentation of acid pretreated cassava residue and swine manure

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Abstract

Co-fermentation of carbon-rich and nitrogen-rich feedstocks with suitable carbon to nitrogen (C/N) ratios is commonly considered as a viable way to enhance biological hydrogen production. In this study, cassava residue (C/N ratio = 29.1) and swine manure (C/N ratio = 8.6) were mixed and subject to microwave-assisted acid hydrothermal pretreatment. The resulting hydrolysates were used for subsequent dark hydrogen fermentation. However, the mixture with a C/N ratio of 15.1 resulted in the lowest hydrogen yield potential of 107.8 mL/g volatile solid (VS). Comparatively, the mono-fermentation of cassava residue exhibited the highest hydrogen yield potential of 145.6 mL/g VS and a peak hydrogen production rate of 8.2 mL/g VS/h. The modified Gompertz model was employed for kinetic analysis, and suggested that the lag-phase time and peak time of hydrogen fermentation exhibited a significantly positive linear correlation with increased C/N ratios. Reducing sugars analysis indicated that pretreatment of mixed cassava residue and swine manure led to a decrease of total sugar yield by 7.2–10.5% due to the Maillard reactions between hydrolyzed sugars and amino acids. A reaction mechanism based on glucose and arginine was proposed to elucidate the Maillard interactions between carbonyl group (–C[dbnd]O) and amino group (–NH2), which was responsible for the overall sugar loss. The findings of this study suggested that pretreatment for mixed carbohydrate-rich and protein-rich feedstocks needs to be optimised to avoid unexpected fermentable sugars loss.

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Lin, R., Cheng, J., & Murphy, J. D. (2017). Unexpectedly low biohydrogen yields in co-fermentation of acid pretreated cassava residue and swine manure. Energy Conversion and Management, 151, 553–561. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enconman.2017.09.006

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