Background and Objective: This study utilizes Rhodobacter sphaeroides bacteria
for the photoproduction of hydrogen under various cultural conditions. R. sphaeroides was
isolated from sewage water. We have examined different carbon and nitrogen sources for
hydrogen production and further established the conditions for optimum hydrogen production
by R. sphaeroides.
Method: The cumulative hydrogen produced by the bacteria at various intervals of time was
measured using a Gas Chromatograph. Initially, by classical one factor at a time method, it
was found that Benzoate and Glycine promote higher amounts of hydrogen production under
anaerobic light conditions after 96 h.
Results: The production was also observed to be enhanced in the presence of growth factors
B12. Further, the Response Surface Methodology (RSM) was employed to optimize the hydrogen
production. The first level of optimization was done using Box-Behnken Design
(BBD) followed by Central Composite Design (CCD) method. The maximum production of
hydrogen achieved by BBD and CCD was 6.8 ml/30 ml and 8.12 ml/30 ml, respectively.
The significant model predicted was a quadratic model with R2 value 0.9459.
Conclusion: Moreover, work presented here suggests an environment-friendly approach of
harvesting H2, which could meet energy demand as clean fuel via the green route.