Hydrogen production from crude glycerol in an alkaline microbial electrolysis cell

Marina Badia-Fabregat, Laura Rago, Juan A. Baeza, Albert Guisasola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2019 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC Crude glycerol is an undesired by-product of biodiesel production with a low commercial value (i.e. a ton of biodiesel results in around 110 kg of crude glycerol) and, thus, glycerol needs valorization. In particular, there is a need of providing a benefit to alkaline wastewaters from biodiesel production with excess of glycerol. Bioelectrochemical systems (BES) are an emerging technique to recover the energy contained in a substrate either as electricity or as other added-value products such as hydrogen. Moreover, promising results have been reported with alkaline BES showing higher current intensities than neutral pH conditions. This study is the first experimental evaluation of alkaline bioelectrochemical production of hydrogen from real crude glycerol as sole carbon source. The results show that alkaline glycerol degradation is feasible under both microbial fuel cell mode (2 mA, 71.4 A/m3 and 55% of CE) and microbial electrolysis mode (maximum of 0.46 LH2/L/d and 85% of rCAT). The values obtained are promising since they are in the range of those obtained with other simpler carbon sources such acetate. A complex consortium involving fermentative bacteria (such as Enterococcaceae), alkaline exoelectrogens (such as Geoalkalibacter) and homoacetogens (such as Acetobacterium) was naturally developed in the anode of the MEC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17204-17213
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Volume44
Issue number32
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2019

Keywords

  • ANODE
  • Alkaline bioelectrochemical system
  • BACTERIA
  • BIODIESEL PRODUCTION
  • Bioanode
  • CONSORTIA
  • Crude glycerol
  • ELECTRICITY
  • ENRICHMENT
  • Hydrogen production
  • Illumina 16S rDNA sequencing
  • PERFORMANCE
  • SCAVENGERS
  • TRANSESTERIFICATION
  • TRANSPORT

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