BioHydrogen pp 133-142 | Cite as

Hydrogen and 5-Aminolevulinic Acid Production by Photosynthetic Bacteria

  • Ken Sasaki


Hydrogen production by Rhodobacter sphaeroides from organic acids was investigated. The maximum hydrogen production rate, 80.3 mL/g cell/h, was obtained when L-malic acid was used as a substrate with glutamate-Na as a nitrogen source. In addition, 30.0 mL/g cell/h of hydrogen production was observed with a mixed substrate containing acetic and propionic acids (VFA). Small amounts of NH4 did not inhibit nitrogenase and hydrogen production in this bacterium.

5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) was produced extracellularly from a VFA medium prepared from a post-anaerobic digestion liquor of swine waste and sewage sludge using the cells of R. sphaeroides with a dense resting cell system. About 9 mM ALA was produced after six days of incubation. A culture both containing 4 mM ALA has a relatively strong herbicide effect in clover. In addition, other applications of ALA as a growth-promoting factor in plants, a means of improving salt tolerance in plants, and cancer treatment for humans were reported.

Thus, the combination of hydrogen production and ALA production might be promising for the bioconversion of organic wastes.


Sewage Sludge Propionic Acid Hydrogen Production Photosynthetic Bacterium Levulinic Acid 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ken Sasaki
    • 1
  1. 1.Materials Science and EngineeringHiroshima-Denki Institute of TechnologyHiroshimaJapan

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