Thermodynamic prediction of hydrogen production from mixed-acid fermentations Academic Article uri icon


  • The MixAlcoâ„¢ process biologically converts biomass to carboxylate salts that may be chemically converted to a wide variety of chemicals and fuels. The process utilizes lignocellulosic biomass as feedstock (e.g., municipal solid waste, sewage sludge, and agricultural residues), creating an economic basis for sustainable biofuels. This study provides a thermodynamic analysis of hydrogen yield from mixed-acid fermentations from two feedstocks: paper and bagasse. During batch fermentations, hydrogen production, acid production, and sugar digestion were analyzed to determine the energy selectivity of each system. To predict hydrogen production during continuous operation, this energy selectivity was then applied to countercurrent fermentations of the same systems. The analysis successfully predicted hydrogen production from the paper fermentation to within 11% and the bagasse fermentation to within 21% of the actual production. The analysis was able to faithfully represent hydrogen production and represents a step forward in understanding and predicting hydrogen production from mixed-acid fermentations.

author list (cited authors)

  • Forrest, A. K., Wales, M. E., & Holtzapple, M. T.

citation count

  • 4

publication date

  • August 2011