Glucose electro-fermentation as main driver for efficient H 2 -producing bacteria selection in mixed cultures

JAVIERA BELEN TOLEDO ALARCON, Roman Moscoviz, Eric Trably, Nicolas Bernet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Electro-fermentation has been recently proposed as a new operational mode of bioprocess control using polarized electrodes. This paper aims to evaluate how polarized electrodes are affecting microbial metabolic fermentative pathways, with a special focus on how the bacterial populations are affected during hydrogen production by dark fermentation. Four different potentials were applied on the working electrode in batch electro-fermentation tests operated with mixed culture and using glucose as a substrate. Two different metabolic behaviours for H 2 production were observed in electro-fermentation. The first one led to a higher H 2 production compared to conventional fermentation with a strong selection of Clostridium sp. The second behaviour led to lower H 2 production along with ethanol, and strongly correlated with the selection of Escherichia and Enterobacter genera. However, the effect of the applied potential on population selection was mostly non-linear and no simple relationship was found between these two parameters. Overall, electro-fermentation process has shown its potential as a new type of control for mixed-culture bioprocesses with significant effects of polarized electrodes on glucose fermentation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2230-2238
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
StatePublished - 22 Jan 2019


  • Bio-electrochemical system (BES)
  • Biohydrogen
  • Dark fermentation
  • Microbial consortium
  • Oxidation reduction potential (ORP)

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