Mesophilic biohydrogen production from calcium hydroxide treated wheat straw

Matthew Reilly*, Richard Dinsdale, Alan Guwy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The use of Ca(OH)2 pre-treatment to improve fermentative biohydrogen yields, from wheat straw was investigated. Wheat straw was pre-treated with 7.4% (w/w) Ca(OH)2 at ambient temperature (20 °C) for 2, 5, 8, and 12 days, prior to 35 °C fermentation with sewage sludge inoculum. Biohydrogen yields were evaluated during dark fermentation and simultaneous saccharification fermentation (SSF) of total pre-treated straw material and compared to those from separated solid and hydrolysate fractions. Ca(OH)2 pre-treatment followed by SSF, exhibited a synergetic relationship. On average, 58.78 mL-H2 g-VS-1 was produced from SSF of pre-treated and filtered solids. This was accompanied by approximately a 10-fold increase in volatile fatty acid production, compared to the untreated control. By omitting pre-treatment hydrolysate liquors from SSF, H2 production increased on average by 35.8%, per VS of harvested straw. Additional inhibition studies indicated that CaCO3, formed as a result of pre-treatment pH control, could promote homoacetogenesis and reduce biohydrogen yields.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16891-16901
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number30
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2014


  • Biohydrogen
  • Calcium hydroxide
  • Carbonate
  • Dark fermentation
  • Lignocellulose
  • Wheat straw


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