Indexed on: 25 Apr '14Published on: 25 Apr '14Published in: Bioresource Technology
The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of pH on the production of bio-hydrogen and end-products from a mixture of olive mill wastewater, cheese whey and liquid cow manure (with a ratio of 55:40:5, v/v/v). Batch experiments were performed under mesophilic conditions (37°C) at a range of pH from 4.5 to 7.5. The main end-products identified were acetic, propionic, butyric, lactic acid and ethanol. The highest hydrogen production yield was observed at pH 6.0 (0.642 mol H2/mol equivalent glucose consumed), whereas the maximum VFAs concentration (i.e. 13.43 g/L) was measured at pH 6.5. The composition of acidified effluent in acetic and butyric acid was similar at pH 6.0 and 6.5, albeit an increase of propionic acid was observed in higher pH. Lactic acid was identified as a major metabolite which presented an intense accumulation (up to 11 g/L) before its further bioconversion to butyric acid and hydrogen.