Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering


George Nakhla


The purpose of this study was to determine Clostridium termitidis microbial kinetics on glucose, cellobiose, and cellulose, and to assess its co-culture with Clostridium beijerinckii for hydrogen production. Microbial kinetics parameters of the mesophilic, cellulolytic, and hydrogen producer C. termitidis were determined on glucose and cellobiose using MATLAB for modelling biomass growth and substrate consumption. Hydrogen yields on these substrates were 1.99 and 1.11 mol H2 mol-1 hexose equivalent, respectively. C. termitidis microbial kinetics in mono-culture and in co-culture with mesophilic hydrogen producer C. beijerinckii were also investigated under agitated and non-agitated conditions, with hydrogen yields of 1.46 and 2.11 mol H2 mol-1 hexose equivalentadded for agitated mono-culture and co-culture, respectively, as compared with 1.45 and 1.92 mol H2 mol-1 hexose equivalentadded in unagitated cultures. Soluble metabolites were also included in the mathematical model. Moreover, co-culturing of C. termitidis and C. beijerinckii on cellulose was proven to enhance hydrogen production directly from a complex substrate like cellulose under mesophilic conditions.