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Hydrogen production in anaerobic thermophilic fluidized bed with vinasse as organic substrate

Grant number: 10/20332-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2011
Effective date (End): March 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Sanitary Engineering - Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment
Principal Investigator:Edson Luiz Silva
Grantee:Samantha Christine Santos
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências Exatas e de Tecnologia (CCET). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Although being an established and widely used technology worldwide, biological treatment systems still offer study opportunities to expand its potentialities. Anaerobic digestion is an alternative for the treatment of waste, as well as allowing the reduction of potential pollution, promotes the generation of biogas, used as an alternative energy source. Hydrogen has emerged as one of the most promising energy sources, mainly because it is clean, recyclable and efficient. In Brazil, the use of vinasse as fertilizer in agriculture is a common practice, but should be used when organic matter is stabilized, since it has extremely high reducing action. Biological processes involving anaerobic reactors with immobilized biomass provided great advancement in the treatment of several pollutants, by allowing the retention of biomass within the system, increasing the ratio of cell retention time and hydraulic retention time. A configuration to be assessed would be the anaerobic fluidized bed reactor (AFBR), because it has many positive factors as the accumulation of large amounts of biomass attached to the support medium, provided the use of low HRT and good mixing characteristics, optimizing the transfer mass between substrate and microorganisms, and promote high-speed stirring in the liquid phase, favoring the detachment of hydrogen in this phase. Increasing the temperature used in treatment can enhance the activity of microorganisms that produce H2. Therefore, this project aims to evaluate the production of H2 in anaerobic thermophilic fluidized bed using vinasse as organic substrate. It is also intended to characterize the diversity of anaerobic bacteria in various stages of thermophilic reactor operation through Molecular Biology techniques.