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Mini review: hydrogen and ethanol co-production from waste materials via microbial fermentation

Soo, Chiu-Shyan, Yap, Wai-Sum, Hon, Wei-Min, Phang, Lai-Yee
World journal of microbiology & biotechnology 2015 v.31 no.10 pp. 1475-1488
biofuels, bioreactors, biotransformation, coproducts, cost effectiveness, ethanol, ethanol fermentation, feedstocks, genetic engineering, hydrogen, hydrogen production, microorganisms
The simultaneous production of hydrogen and ethanol by microorganisms from waste materials in a bioreactor system would establish cost-effective and time-saving biofuel production. This review aims to present the current status of fermentation processes producing hydrogen accompanied by ethanol as a co-product. We outlined the microbes used and their fundamental pathways for hydrogen and ethanol fermentation. Moreover, we discussed the exploitation of renewable and sustainable waste materials as promising feedstock and the limitations encountered. The low substrate bioconversion rate in hydrogen and ethanol co-production is regarded as the primary constraint towards the development of large scale applications. Thus, microbes with an enhanced capability have been generated via genetic manipulation to diminish the inefficiency of substrate consumption. In this review, other potential approaches to improve the performance of co-production through fermentation were also elaborated. This review will be a useful guide for the future development of hydrogen and ethanol co-production using waste materials.