Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Jerald Lalman


Applied sciences, Anaerobic fermentation, Bio-hydrogen, Lignocellulosic biomass, Microbial inhibition



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Biohydrogen (bio-H2 ) is a possible future alternative energy source. Hydrogen (H2 ) derived from cheap agriculture feedstocks is a necessary requirement for economical full-scale production. Solubilizing cellulose, hemicellulose and other organic components in low value feedstocks is accomplished by processes such as acid treatment or steam explosion. During pretreatment, microbial inhibitors such as furfural and hydroxymethyl furfural (HMF) are generated from hexose and pentose sugars. A commercially available ion-exchange resin (XAD-4) was used to remove furan inhibitors from liquor derived from pretreating low value agriculture residues. A surface response model was used to predict inhibitor concentrations after 360 minutes of treatment. Experiments were conducted to demonstrate the impact of treating switchgrass liquor with XAD-4 resin on the H 2 yield. Treated and untreated switchgrass liquor generated maximum yields of 2.25 ± 0.14 and 1.80 ± 0.11 mol H2 /mol glucose, respectively. In comparison, a yield of 2.14 ± 0.21 mol H2 /mol glucose was detected in cultures fed pure glucose.