Hydrogen production using amino acids obtained by protein degradation in waste biomass by combined dark- and photo-fermentation

Jun Cheng, Lingkan Ding, Ao Xia, Richen Lin, Yuyou Li, Junhu Zhou, Kefa Cen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


The biological hydrogen production from amino acids obtained by protein degradation was comprehensively investigated to increase heating value conversion efficiency. The five amino acids (i.e., alanine, serine, aspartic acid, arginine, and leucine) produced limited hydrogen (0.2-16.2mL/g) but abundant soluble metabolic products (40.1-84.0mM) during dark-fermentation. The carbon conversion efficiencies of alanine (85.3%) and serine (94.1%) during dark-fermentation were significantly higher than those of other amino acids. Residual dark-fermentation solutions treated with zeolite for NH4+ removal were inoculated with photosynthetic bacteria to further produce hydrogen during photo-fermentation. The hydrogen yields of alanine and serine through combined dark- and photo-fermentation were 418.6 and 270.2mL/g, respectively. The heating value conversion efficiency of alanine to hydrogen was 25.1%, which was higher than that of serine (21.2%).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-19
Number of pages7
JournalBioresource Technology
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation – China ( 51176163 , 51476141 ), National High Technology R&D Program – China ( 2012AA050101 ), International Sci. & Tech. Cooperation Program – China ( 2012DFG61770 ), Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation – China ( LR14E060002 ), Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University – China ( NCET-11-0446 ), Specialized Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education – China ( 20110101110021 ), Science and Technology Project of Guangxi Province – China ( 1346011-1 ), and Program of Introducing Talents of Discipline to University – China ( B08026 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Amino acid
  • Dark-fermentation
  • Hydrogen production
  • Photo-fermentation


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