In this study, the effects of the hydraulic retention time (HRT), pH and substrate concentration on the thermophilic hydrogen production of starch with an upflow anaerobic sludge bed (UASB) reactor were investigated. Starch was used as a sole substrate. Continuous hydrogen production was stably attained with a maximum H2 yield of 1.7 mol H2/mol glucose. A H2-producing thermophilic granule was successfully formed with diameter in the range of 0.5-4.0 mm with thermally pretreated methanogenic granules as the nuclei. The metabolic pathway of the granules was drastically changed at each operational parameter. The production of formic or lactic acids is an indication of the deterioration of hydrogen production for H2-producing thermophilic granular sludge.
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