Biotechnology Letters, Vol.37, No.2, 359-366, 2015
Enhanced photo-H-2 production by unsaturated flow condition in continuous culture
A biofilm photobioreactor under unsaturated flow condition (BFPBR-U) is proposed using a polished optical fiber as the internal light source for photo-H-2 production in continuous culture. The main chamber was filled with spherical glass beads to create the reaction bed and the cells were immobilized to form a biofilm under unsaturated flow condition obtained by pumping substrate solution over a packing bed at a rate to create a thin fluid film and injecting the argon to maintain the gas phase space. The effects of operational conditions, including flow rate and influent substrate concentration, on the photo-H-2 production performance were investigated. The unsaturated flow conditions eliminated the inhibition caused by high organic loading rate and enhanced light transmission efficiency, leading to an improvement in the photo-H-2 production performance.