The production of biofuels as an alternative to the fossil fuels has been mandatory for a cleaner and sustainable process. Hydrogen is seen as the fuel of the future because it has a very high energy density and its use produces only water instead of greenhouse gases and other exhaust pollutants. The biological synthesis of hydrogen by dark fermentation complies with these criteria. In the current work, the use of cheese whey permeate was evaluated aiming hydrogen production by dark fermentation using a microbial consortium in the semi-continuous process, with a reaction volume of 700 mL. The volume of the medium renewal and the frequency of replacements of fresh medium were evaluated to extend the production of H2. It is important to note decreases in the hydrogen production after 84 h. The target-product content became higher particularly when 466 mL of medium were withdrawn, in every 24 h in the first two replacements and, subsequently, in every 12 h. Besides, it was observed lower lactic acid concentration under this condition, suggesting that the shorter removal time of the medium could inhibit lactic acid bacteria, which may secrete bacteriocins that inhibit the hydrogen-producing microorganisms.
Hydrogen Dark fermentation Microbial consortium Sequential batch process
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The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial supports from FAPEMIG, Vale S.A., CNPq and CAPES.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
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