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See detailANAEROBIC DIGESTION OF ORGANIC WASTES FROM AGRO-FOOD ACTIVITIES IN TUNISIA
Mhiri, F; Hiligsmann, Serge ULg; Sayahi, L. et al

Poster (2013, October 01)

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See detailMONITORING OF ANAEROBIC DIGESTION IN MSW LANDFILLS IN TUNISIA
Mhiri, F.; Hiligsmann, Serge ULg; Sayahi, L. et al

in Proceedings Sardinia 2013 (2013, October)

The monitoring of two controlled landfills in Tunisia was carried out for about 10 years by CITET and CWBI. Both landfills were managed by classical methodology i.e. disposal, compaction and, if any ... [more ▼]

The monitoring of two controlled landfills in Tunisia was carried out for about 10 years by CITET and CWBI. Both landfills were managed by classical methodology i.e. disposal, compaction and, if any, biogas and leachate extraction and treatment. One of them is located near Tunis and the other near Sousse with a warmer climate. They received more than 6,000 and 350 thousand cubic metre of MSW respectively from the two cities. Solid samples were collected by boring at different depths up to 18 m. They were analysed for dry weight and for total organic carbon, nitrogen and (hemi-) cellulose. The boreholes were equipped with 200 mm perforated PEHD tubes for further biogas and leachate sampling and analyses (COD, VFA, CH4 content, …) at different seasons. The results indicate an efficient mesophilic anaerobic digestion in both landfills. The high dry weight content (70 – 92%) of 13 solid samples collected in Sousse landfill contrasts however with the high leachate production in the Tunis landfill, filling about completely the majority of boreholes. The results of this monitoring confirm the trends formerly described about biological activity and environmental impact of landfills in Tunisia. Moreover a 200 L pilot-scale anaerobic digester was operated for about 3 years with solid wastes from Tunis landfill to assess the evolution of moisture content and organic matter. [less ▲]

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See detailANAEROBIC DIGESTION WITH BIOHYDROGEN PRODUCTION FROM ORGANIC WASTES : STATE-OF-THE ART
Hiligsmann, Serge ULg; Beckers, L.; Hamilton, C. et al

in Proceedings Sardinia 2013 (2013, October)

Hydrogen (H2) is being considered as an ideal and clean energy carrier since the utilization of hydrogen, either via combustion or via fuel cells, results in pure water. However, currently its production ... [more ▼]

Hydrogen (H2) is being considered as an ideal and clean energy carrier since the utilization of hydrogen, either via combustion or via fuel cells, results in pure water. However, currently its production relies mainly (i.e. 95%) on fossil fuels. The recent advances to produce biohydrogen from renewable sources such as biomass and particularly by fermentation of carbohydrate-rich substrates from agriculture and agro-industries appear promising. Such a process called “dark fermentation” enables both organic waste treatment and renewable energy production to be coupled. The soluble metabolites, mainly acetate and butyrate, contained in the spent medium of the dark fermentation bioreactor may be efficiently converted to methane in a second anaerobic digester treating other carbon sources. The paper reviews the state-of-the art on the challenges and prospective applications of dark fermentation as a first step of anaerobic digestion of municipal solid wastes to produce H2 and CH4. [less ▲]

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See detailComparative biochemical analysis during the anaerobic digestion of lignocellulosic biomass from six morphological parts of Williams Cavendish banana (Triploid Musa AAA group) plants
Kamdem, Irenee ULg; Hiligsmann, Serge ULg; Vanderghem, Caroline ULg et al

in World Journal of Microbiology & Biotechnology (2013)

We studied banana lignocellulosic biomass (BALICEBIOM) that is abandoned after fruit harvesting, and assessed its biochemical methane potential, because of its potential as an energy source. We monitored ... [more ▼]

We studied banana lignocellulosic biomass (BALICEBIOM) that is abandoned after fruit harvesting, and assessed its biochemical methane potential, because of its potential as an energy source. We monitored biogas production from six morphological parts (MPs) of the "Williams Cavendish" banana cultivar using a modified operating procedure (KOP) using KOH. Volatile fatty acid (VFA) production was measured using high performance liquid chromatography. The bulbs, leaf sheaths, petioles-midribs, leaf blades, rachis stems, and floral stalks gave total biogas production of 256, 205, 198, 126, 253, and 221 ml g-1 dry matter, respectively, and total biomethane production of 150, 141, 127, 98, 162, and 144 ml g-1, respectively. The biogas production rates and yields depended on the biochemical composition of the BALICEBIOM and the ability of anaerobic microbes to access fermentable substrates. There were no significant differences between the biogas analysis results produced using KOP and gas chromatography. Acetate was the major VFA in all the MP sample culture media. The bioconversion yields for each MP were below 50 %, showing that these substrates were not fully biodegraded after 188 days. The estimated electricity that could be produced from biogas combustion after fermenting all of the BALICEBIOM produced annually by the Cameroon Development Corporation-Del Monte plantations for 188 days is approximately 10.5 × 106 kW h (which would be worth 0.80-1.58 million euros in the current market). This bioenergy could serve the requirements of about 42,000 people in the region, although CH4 productivity could be improved. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. [less ▲]

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See detailImproving effect of metal and oxide nanoparticles encapsulated in porous silica on fermentative biohydrogen production by Clostridium butyricum.
Beckers, Laurent; Hiligsmann, Serge ULg; Lambert, Stéphanie ULg et al

in Bioresource Technology (2013), 133C

This paper investigated the enhancement effect of nanometre-sized metallic (Pd, Ag and Cu) or metallic oxide (Fe(x)O(y)) nanoparticles on fermentative hydrogen production from glucose by a Clostridium ... [more ▼]

This paper investigated the enhancement effect of nanometre-sized metallic (Pd, Ag and Cu) or metallic oxide (Fe(x)O(y)) nanoparticles on fermentative hydrogen production from glucose by a Clostridium butyricum strain. These nanoparticles (NP) of about 2-3nm were encapsulated in porous silica (SiO(2)) and were added at very low concentration (10(-6)molL(-1)) in batch hydrogen production test. The cultures containing iron oxide NP produced 38% more hydrogen with a higher maximum H(2) production rate (HPR) of 58% than those without NP or with silica particles only. The iron oxide NP were used in a 2.5L sequencing-batch reactor and showed no significant effect on the yields (established at 2.2mol(hydrogen)mol(glucose)(-1)) but an improvement of the HPR (+113%, reaching a maximum HPR of 86mL(hydrogen)L(-1)h(-1)). These results suggest an improvement of the electron transfers trough some combinations between enzymatic activity and inorganic materials. [less ▲]

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See detailDegradation of p-nitrophenol and bacteria with TiO2 xerogels sensitized in situ with tetra(4-carboxyphenyl)porphyrins
Tasseroul, Ludivine ULg; Lambert, Stéphanie ULg; Eskenazi, David ULg et al

in Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A : Chemistry (2013), 272

TiO2-based materials doped with porphyrins have been prepared using a sol-gel process. To stabilize the TiO2-dye interactions, free metal tetra(4-carboxyphenyl)porphyrin and nickel tetra(4-carboxyphenyl ... [more ▼]

TiO2-based materials doped with porphyrins have been prepared using a sol-gel process. To stabilize the TiO2-dye interactions, free metal tetra(4-carboxyphenyl)porphyrin and nickel tetra(4-carboxyphenyl) porphyrin were introduced in situ into the TiO2 matrix during the sol-gel process rather than by grafting. Samples were thoroughly characterized by TEM, X-ray diffraction, FT-IR, DR-UV/vis and their texture has been examined by nitrogen adsorption-desorption at 77 K. The low thermal treatment allows obtaining anatase-TiO2 particles with high specific surface area without porphyrin degradation. A significant improvement of the photoactivity under visible light of porphyrin doped-TiO2 xerogels was observed for p-nitrophenol and for bacterial degradation. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailLe partenariat CITET - CWBI : 10 années de collaboration scientifique et transfert technologique sur la valorisation énergétique des biomasses
Hiligsmann, Serge ULg; Sayahi, Lamia; Tangour, Douha et al

Conference (2012, December 05)

Les procédés de biométhanisation sont bien connus de par le monde et applicables à presque toute matière organique, même résiduaire. Ils possèdent des rendements et spécificités qui les rendent ... [more ▼]

Les procédés de biométhanisation sont bien connus de par le monde et applicables à presque toute matière organique, même résiduaire. Ils possèdent des rendements et spécificités qui les rendent intéressants pour des applications à petite comme à grande échelle. Du point de vue technologique, le concept de la biométhanisation, est relativement proche de celui des procédés agro-alimentaires. Ce processus de valorisation des déchets organiques est donc plus facilement intégrable dans un procédé agroalimentaire que les autres procédés de valorisation (gazification, pyrolyse, etc,..). La biométhanisation offre aussi l'avantage de pouvoir s'appliquer à des rejets liquides, semi-solides et solides. Par ailleurs, les procédés agro-alimentaires sont nombreux en Tunisie, leurs rejets peuvent contenir de la matière organique de relativement bonne qualité pour la biométhanisation. Toutefois, les conditions de mise en œuvre de la biométhanisation mais aussi de la cogénération en aval doivent être définies au cas par cas afin de conduire à une valorisation efficace des matières et une utilisation rentable du biogaz produit. Depuis plus de 10 ans, des axes de recherche et développement privilégiés ont été définis par les partenaires du CITET et du CWBI (Université de Liège, Belgique) en vue de promouvoir la valorisation des déchets organiques issus du secteur agro-alimentaire et des déchets ménagers. Les premiers travaux s’étaient focalisés sur l’étude de l’impact environnemental et la modélisation de la production de méthane au sein des centres d'enfouissement technique pour déchets ménagers. Forts de cette expérience et d’une compréhension mutuelle, concrétisées par plusieurs publications internationales, les deux centres ont pu aborder de réels transferts technologiques avec assistance technique et programmes de formation&training sur la biométhanisation des déchets organiques du secteur agro-alimentaire : technologie présentant des avantages importants sur le plan environnemental, économique et énergétique. Les travaux portent sur la caractérisation et la codigestion de matières organiques résiduaires liquides et/ou solides provenant des industries agroalimentaires, abattoirs, marchés, restaurants, épiceries, déchets des ménages, … Ils sont complétés par des stages de formation sur le dimensionnement des installations ; missions à l’étranger ; contacts avec des administrations de contrôle et/ou aide à l’investissement; visites et/ou suivis de bioréacteurs pilotes ou industriels. [less ▲]

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See detailProduction de biohydrogène par fermentation anaérobie chimiotrophe de substrats carbohydratés
Hiligsmann, Serge ULg

Doctoral thesis (2012)

Hydrogen (H2) is being considered as an ideal and clean energy carrier since the utilization of hydrogen, either via combustion or via fuel cells, results in pure water. The recent advances to produce ... [more ▼]

Hydrogen (H2) is being considered as an ideal and clean energy carrier since the utilization of hydrogen, either via combustion or via fuel cells, results in pure water. The recent advances to produce biohydrogen from renewable sources such as biomass and particularly by fermentation of carbohydrate-rich substrates from agriculture and agro-industries appear promising. Such a process called “dark fermentation” enables both organic waste treatment and renewable energy production to be coupled. In the thesis different hydrogen-producing microorganisms were studied and some environmental parameters and bioreactors have been investigated in order to improve the hydrogen production yields and rates. The experimental results compared the hydrogen production yield of 19 different pure strains and sludges : facultative and strict anaerobic H2-producing strains along with anaerobic digester sludges thermally pre-treated (to enrich the microflora in high H2-producers) or not. Significant yields variations were recorded even between different strains of the same species (up to 20% of variation). The pure Clostridium butyricum (C. but.) strains achieved the highest yields i.e. up to 172 L H2 produced per kilogram of glucose consumed (1.38 mol H2 / mol glucose). Two efficient H2-producing strains (C. but. CWBI1009 and Citrobacter freundii CWBI952) were further studied in order to determine the optimum culture conditions for the production of hydrogen. A 2.3 L bioreactor was operated at 30 °C in batch and sequenced-batch mode using glucose and starch as substrates. For glucose the maximum yield (211 L H2 / kg or 1.7 mol H2 / mol glucose) was measured with the C. but. strain when the pH was maintained at 5.2. In sequenced-batch reactor a 35% increase in H2 yield was obtained with removal–addition of 40% of the culture medium at the beginning of each sequence. For operation in continuous mode, original bioreactors such as an anaerobic biodisc reactor (AnBDR) were designed to both fix biomass and enable rapid liquid to gas transfer of hydrogen produced since H2 partial pressure and H2 supersaturation are known as hardly affecting hydrogen production performances. The highest and stable H2 production rate (703 L H2 per hour and per m³ of liquid volume inside the bioreactor) and yield (302 L / kg glucose consumed i.e. 2.4 mol/mol) with the pure culture of C. but. CWBI1009 were recorded in the AnBDR with 300 mL culture medium (total volume 2.3 L) at pH 5.2 and a glucose loading rate of 2.87 kg / m³.h. These results achieved with pure strains are relevant compared to the highest H2 yields and rates reported in the literature with mixed cultures and achieved in reactors, such as trickle bed bioreactors, with high gas transfer performances. Moreover, the soluble metabolites, mainly acetate and butyrate, contained in the spent medium of the dark fermentation bioreactor were efficiently converted to methane in a second anaerobic digester (20 L continuously stirred tank) with a methane yield of about 170 L/kg COD initially fed in the first stage. These results demonstrate that a two-step anaerobic digestion process may be carried out in two successive bioreactors, both with specific and optimized parameters, in order to generate separated biogas flows containing either H2 or CH4. In addition to the advantages related to both gaseous molecule properties, many technological improvements would be achieved by this way : better hydrolysis, higher process stability, etc. The general discussion highlights the central and relevant position of the 2-stage anaerobic digestion process in the panorama of technologies able to both treat raw or residual organic matter and to produce energy or energy vectors for stationary or mobile end-use. The technical, economical and environmental aspects have been considered. [less ▲]

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See detailInvestigating the factors for fermentative biohydrogen improvement: original bioreactors design and hydrogen partial pressure effect
Beckers, Laurent ULg; Hiligsmann, Serge ULg; Hamilton, Christopher ULg et al

in WHEC 2012, Toronto June 3rd - 7th (2012, June 05)

The anaerobic production of hydrogen from biomass offers the potential production of usable biogas from a variety of renewable resources. However, in order to produce hydrogen at high yields and ... [more ▼]

The anaerobic production of hydrogen from biomass offers the potential production of usable biogas from a variety of renewable resources. However, in order to produce hydrogen at high yields and production rates the biotechnological process needs to be further optimized and efficient bioreactors must be designed [1]. At the CWBI, a continuous horizontal rotating cylinder bioreactor has been designed and investigated to produce biohydrogen from glucose by the strain Clostridium butyricum [2] at good yields (1,9molH2•molglucose-1) and production rates (48,6mmolH2•Lmilieu-1.molhexose-1•h-1). This reactor has an internal volume of 2.3L and a small working volume (300ml) (fig.1). It enhances the hydrogen production rates (by about three times more than a completely stirred bioreactor) by partially immobilizing the bacteria on the porous support. Moreover, the rotating cylinder design enables efficient H2 gas transfer from the liquid phase increasing hydrogen yields by about 25% compared to a completely stirred bioreactor [3-4]. Other original bioreactors, such as a trickle bed, have been built with the same aim of lowering the hydrogen partial pressure and led to similar results. Our work shows the importance of a good liquid to gas transfers in the biohydrogen-producing reactors to reach higher performances. [less ▲]

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See detailThe MicroH2 project:an association of four laboratories to improve theknowledge on biohydrogen production precesses
Beckers, Laurent ULg; Calusinska, Magdalena ULg; Hamilton, Christopher ULg et al

Poster (2012, June 04)

This poster presents a collaborative research project (MicroH2) held at the University of Liège (Belgium) since 2007 (www.microh2.ulg.ac.be) and involving four different research groups. The project aims ... [more ▼]

This poster presents a collaborative research project (MicroH2) held at the University of Liège (Belgium) since 2007 (www.microh2.ulg.ac.be) and involving four different research groups. The project aims to develop a center of excellence in the fields of photo- and dark- biohydrogen production. Our studies contribute to improve the knowledge of the processes involved in the microbiological production of hydrogen, from a fundamental and practical point of view. Some results are highlighted here. The research concerning photofermentation focuses on the interactions between respiration, photosynthesis and H2-producing pathways in algal microorganisms, by using mitochondrial mutants and genetically modified strains with modified ability for hydrogen production [1-2]. To study the metabolism of the hydrogen production by anaerobic bacteria, pure cultures and defined consortia are used and their production of biogas and soluble metabolites is measured. Moreover, we have developed and optimized molecular tools, like quantitative RT-PCR and FISH, to monitor the variations of bacterial populations in novel bioreactors for hydrogen production [3-4]. We have also mined the complete genomes of Clostridium spp. for putative hydrogenase genes and found a large diversity of them [5]. [less ▲]

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See detailEffects of hydrogen partial pressure on fermentative biohydrogen production by a chemotropic Clostridium bacterium in a new horizontal rotating cylinder reactor
Beckers, Laurent ULg; Hiligsmann, Serge ULg; MAsset, Julien et al

in Energy Procedia (2012)

In order to produce fermentative biohydrogen at high yields and production rates, efficient bioreactors have to be designed. A new reactor called anaerobic biodisc reactor allowed the production of ... [more ▼]

In order to produce fermentative biohydrogen at high yields and production rates, efficient bioreactors have to be designed. A new reactor called anaerobic biodisc reactor allowed the production of biohydrogen from glucose with the selected Clostridium sp. strain at high yields (2.49 molH2•molglucose-1) and production rates (598 mlH2•medium-1•h-1). The bacteria were fixed on a rotating support enabling efficient gas transfer from the liquid to the phase. It allowed the metabolism of the bacteria to produce more hydrogen. Moreover, an increase of the total pressure 0.18 bar lowered the yields of 19.5% while a decrease of 0.11 bar increased the yields of 7%. Our work concludes on the importance of providing good liquid to gas transfers in the biohydrogen-producing reactors. [less ▲]

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See detailInvestigation of nanoparticles as potential activators for the optimization of PAH biodegradation
Masy, Thibaut ULg; Wannoussa, Wissal ULg; Lambert, Stéphanie ULg et al

Poster (2012, April 10)

These last decades, through the industrial development and its imperfect waste management, the contamination by hydrocarbons in water and soils has led to a progressive deterioration of environmental ... [more ▼]

These last decades, through the industrial development and its imperfect waste management, the contamination by hydrocarbons in water and soils has led to a progressive deterioration of environmental quality, which is more and more considered nowadays. Amongst all the existing cleaning-up techniques, the bioremediation appears as the best compromise between treatment costs and effectiveness. However, this bioprocess remains time-consuming, especially for persistent pollutants as PAHs (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons). A first way to improve the biodegradation consists in adding a consortium of efficient microorganisms in the polluted area (bioaugmentation). A further way to improve the bioremediation rate is based on the use of nutrients to assist the microbial metabolism (biostimulation). Our project gathers these two methods, specifically for the PAH biodegradation of polluted soils. Firstly, different suitable strains from our lab will be compared together in terms of PAH-degrading rate, in order to select the best microorganisms. As all these strains were selected from a long-term oil-polluted dried soil, they should be able to compete against the endogenous microflora, even if they are injected in the soil in a powdered starter. Secondly, trace elements in the nanoparticulate form, with concentrations of about 10-5M, will be added to catalyze the bacterial metabolism. First results already showed a sharp increase (2 to 3 fold) in the biodegradation kinetics, which is promising for the further scaling-up stages. In addition, this PhD project attempts to understand the mechanism of interaction between bacteria and nanoparticulate catalysts. [less ▲]

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See detailFermentative hydrogen production from glucose and starch using pure strains and artificial co-cultures ofClostridium spp.
Masset, Julien; Calusinska, Magdalena ULg; Hamilton, Christopher et al

in Biotechnology for biofuels (2012), 5(35), 1-15

ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Pure bacterial strains give better yields when producing H2 than mixed, natural communities. However the main drawback with the pure cultures is the need to perform the fermentations ... [more ▼]

ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Pure bacterial strains give better yields when producing H2 than mixed, natural communities. However the main drawback with the pure cultures is the need to perform the fermentations under sterile conditions. Therefore, H2 production using artificial co-cultures, composed of well characterized strains, is one of the directions currently undertaken in the field of biohydrogen research. RESULTS: Four pure Clostridium cultures, including C. butyricum CWBI1009, C. pasteurianum DSM525, C. beijerinckii DSM1820 and C. felsineum DSM749, and three different co-cultures composed of (1) C. pasteurianum and C. felsineum, (2) C. butyricum and C. felsineum, (3) C. butyricum and C. pasteurianum, were grown in 20 L batch bioreactors. In the first part of the study a strategy composed of three-culture sequences was developed to determine the optimal pH for H2 production (sequence 1); and the H2-producing potential of each pure strain and co-culture, during glucose (sequence 2) and starch (sequence 3) fermentations at the optimal pH. The best H2 yields were obtained for starch fermentations, and the highest yield of 2.91 mol H2/ mol hexose was reported for C. butyricum. By contrast, the biogas production rates were higher for glucose fermentations and the highest value of 1.5 L biogas/ h was observed for the co-culture (1). In general co-cultures produced H2 at higher rates than the pure Clostridium cultures, without negatively affecting the H2 yields. Interestingly, all the Clostridium strains and co-cultures were shown to utilize lactate (present in a starch-containing medium), and C. beijerinckii was able to re-consume formate producing additional H2. In the second part of the study the co-culture (3) was used to produce H2 during 13 days of glucose fermentation in a sequencing batch reactor (SBR). In addition, the species dynamics, as monitored by qPCR (quantitative real-time PCR), showed a stable coexistence of C. pasteurianum and C. butyricum during this fermentation. CONCLUSIONS: The four pure Clostridium strains and the artificial co-cultures tested in this study were shown to efficiently produce H2 using glucose and starch as carbon sources. The artificial co-cultures produced H2 at higher rates than the pure strains, while the H2 yields were only slightly affected. [less ▲]

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See detailLa production de biohydrogène à partir de substrats carbohydratés : état de l'art
Hiligsmann, Serge ULg; Beckers, Laurent ULg; Masset, Julien ULg et al

in Récents progrès en génie des procédés (2011, December 01)

Hydrogen is being considered as an ideal and clean energy carrier. The recent advances to produce biohydrogen from renewable sources such as biomass and particularly by fermentation of carbohydrate-rich ... [more ▼]

Hydrogen is being considered as an ideal and clean energy carrier. The recent advances to produce biohydrogen from renewable sources such as biomass and particularly by fermentation of carbohydrate-rich substrates from agriculture and agro-industries appear promising. Such a process enables both organic waste treatment and renewable energy production to be coupled. The paper presents the state of the art about the different hydrogen-producing microorganisms and the parameters that have been investigated in order to improve the hydrogen production yields and rates. [less ▲]

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