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Title: Hydrogen production by Rhodobacter sphaeroides and its analysis by metabolic flux balancing
Author: Chongcharoentaweesuk, Pasika
ISNI:       0000 0004 5355 5405
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2014
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There is a global need for sustainable, renewable and clean energy sources. Microbial production of hydrogen from renewable carbon sources, biorefinery compounds such as succinic acid or from food and drinks industry waste meets all these criteria. Although it has been studied for several decades, there is still no large scale bio-hydrogen production because the rate and yield of hydrogen production are not high enough to render the process economical. The dependency of biological hydrogen production of incipient light energy is also an important factor affecting economics. In order to improve the prospects of biohydrogen as a renewable and sustainable energy alternative, the genetic and process engineering approaches should be helped and targeted by metabolic engineering tools such as metabolic flux balance analysis. The overall aim of this research was the development of computational metabolic flux balance analysis for the study of growth and hydrogen production in Rhodobacter sphaeroides. The research reported in this thesis had two approaches; experimental and computational. Batch culture experiments for growth and hydrogen production by Rhodobacter sphaeroides were performed with either malate or succinate as carbon source and with glutamate as the nitrogen source. Other conditions investigated included; i) aerobic and anaerobic growth, ii) light and dark fermentation for growth, and iii) continuous light and cycled light/dark conditions for hydrogen production. The best growth was obtained with succinate under anaerobic photoheterotrophic conditions with the maximum specific growth rate of 0.0467 h– 1, which was accompanied with the maximum specific hydrogen production rate of 1.249 mmol(gDW.h)– 1. The range of the photon flux used was 5.457 - 0.080 mmol(gDW.h)– 1. The metabolic flux balance model involved 218 reactions and 176 metabolites. As expected the optimised specific rates of growth and hydrogen production were higher than those of the experimental values. The best prediction was for hydrogen production on succinate with computed specific hydrogen production rates in the range of 2.314 - 1.322 mmol(gDW.h)– 1. Sensitivity analyses indicated that the specific growth rate was affected by the nitrogen source uptake rate under aerobic dark condition whereas the flux of protein formation had the largest effect on the specific growth rate under anaerobic light condition.
Supervisor: Mavituna, Ferda; Webb, Colin Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Metabolic Flux Balance Analysis ; Rhodobacter sphaeroides ; bio-hydrogen production