Three-dimensional modeling of photo fermentative biohydrogen generation in a microbioreactor

Mojtaba Aghajani Delavar, Junye Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Photo fermentation is an emerging approach of biohydrogen production as it is energy saving and environmentally friendly. Understanding mechanisms of controlling the bacteria growth and biohydrogen production is critical for effective improvements in energy harvest and waste treatment in photo fermentative bioreactors. In this study a comprehensive three-dimensional numerical platform of photo fermentation was developed, based on lattice Boltzmann method coupled with cellular automata. The model accounts for photosynthetic bacteria growth, illumination energy conversion by photosynthetic bacteria, and light transfer under biofilm growth. The results showed a threshold of illumination intensity. Below this threshold, the bioreactor performance increased as the illumination intensity increased. Above the threshold, the performance declined if the illumination intensity rose. The normalized average biohydrogen production at the illumination intensity of 6000lx, increased about 66.31%, 13.82% and 13.12%, respectively, compared to ones at 4000lx, 5000lx and 7000lx. An increase in inlet glucose concentration could increase biohydrogen concentration and extraction but dwindled biohydrogen yield. It was found that a lower inlet velocity had higher biohydrogen production rate and concentration but lower biohydrogen extraction and yield. The results demonstrate that the present LBM-CA platform can be a tool to study and enhance the photo fermentative production of biohydrogen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1034-1045
Number of pages12
JournalRenewable Energy
Publication statusPublished - Jan. 2022


  • Biofilm growth
  • Biohydrogen
  • Bioreactor
  • Optofluidic
  • Photo fermentation


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