Inhibitory effects of furan derivatives and phenolic compounds on dark hydrogen fermentation

Richen Lin, Jun Cheng, Lingkan Ding, Wenlu Song, Junhu Zhou, Kefa Cen

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83 Scopus citations


The inhibitory effects of furan derivatives [i.e. furfural and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF)] and phenolic compounds (i.e. vanillin and syringaldehyde) on dark hydrogen fermentation from glucose were comparatively evaluated. Phenolic compounds exhibited stronger inhibition on hydrogen production and glucose consumption than furan derivatives under the same 15mM concentration. Furan derivatives were completely degraded after 72h fermentation, while over 55% of phenolic compounds remained unconverted after 108h fermentation. The inhibition coefficients of vanillin (14.05) and syringaldehyde (11.21) were higher than those of 5-HMF (4.35) and furfural (0.64). Vanillin exhibited the maximum decrease of hydrogen yield (17%). The consumed reducing power by inhibitors reduction from R-CHO to RCH2OH was a possible reason contributed to the decreased hydrogen yield. Vanillin exhibited the maximum delay of peak times of hydrogen production rate and glucose consumption. Soluble metabolites and carbon conversion efficiency decreased with inhibitors addition, which were consistent with hydrogen production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)250-255
Number of pages6
JournalBioresource Technology
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation – China ( 51176163 , 51476141 ), Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation – China ( LR14E060002 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Furan derivatives
  • Hydrogen fermentation
  • Inhibition
  • Phenolic compounds


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