Standardized Protocol for Determination of Biohydrogen Potential

MethodsX. 2019 Dec 4;7:100754. doi: 10.1016/j.mex.2019.11.027. eCollection 2020.


Biohydrogen production potential (BHP) depends on several factors like inoculum source, substrate, pH, among many others. Batch assays are the most common strategy to evaluate such parameters, where the comparison is a challenging task due to the different procedures used. The present method introduces the first internationally validated protocol, evaluated by 8 independent laboratories from 5 different countries, to assess the biohydrogen potential. As quality criteria, a coefficient of variation of the cumulative hydrogen production (H max) was defined to be <15 %. Two options to run BHP batch tests were proposed; a manual protocol with periodic measurements of biogas production, needing conventional laboratory materials and analytical equipment for biogas characterization; and an automatic protocol, which is run in a device developed for online measurements of low biogas production. The detailed procedures for both protocol options are presented, as well as data validating them. The validation showed acceptable repeatability and reproducibility, measured as intra- and inter-laboratory coefficient of variation, which can be reduced up to 9 %.

Keywords: Automatic protocol; Dark fermentation; Heat-treated inoculum; Manual protocol.