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Dark fermentation metabolic models to study strategies for hydrogen consumers inhibition

Rafieenia, Razieh, Pivato, Alberto, Schievano, Andrea, Lavagnolo, Maria Cristina
Bioresource technology 2018 v.267 pp. 445-457
bacteria, biochemical pathways, carbon dioxide, fermentation, frying oil, hydrogen, hydrogen production, inoculum, methane, methanogens, microbial culture, mixed culture, models, volatile fatty acids, wastes
A Flux Balance Analysis (FBA) metabolic model of dark fermentation was developed for anaerobic mixed cultures. In particular, the model was applied to evaluate the effect of a specific inoculum pre-treatment strategy, addition of waste frying oil (WFO) on H2-producing and H2-consuming metabolic pathways. Productions of volatile fatty acid (VFAs), CO2, H2 and CH4 measured through triplicate batch experiments, were used as constraints for the FBA model, to compute fluxes trough different metabolic pathways. FBA model could estimate the effect of pre-treatment with WFO on major microbial populations present in the mixed community (H2 producing bacteria, homoacetogen and methanogens). Results revealed that low concentrations of WFO did not completely inhibited hydrogenotrophic methanogens. FBA showed that acetoclastic methanogens were more sensitive to WFO, in comparison to hydrogenotrophic methanogens. The proposed model can be used to study H2 production by any other mixed microbial culture with similar substrates.