Effect of inoculum pretreatment on the microbial and metabolic dynamics of food waste dark fermentation

Lijun Luo, Saranya Sriram, Johnravindar Davidraj, Thomas Louis Philippe Martin, Jonathan W.C. Wong, Nirakar Pradhan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


This study systematically evaluated and compared different inoculum pretreatment methods to quickly select dark fermentative bacteria from anaerobic sludge for the bioconversion of food waste. The hydrogen (H2) production rate was found to be highest for 'heat + CO2′ treated inoculum at 140.75 ± 2.61 mL/L/h compared to control experiments (60.27 ± 2.61 mL/L/h). At the same time, H2 yield was found to be highest for alkali-treated inoculum at 157.25 ± 7.62 mL/g of volatile solids (VS) added compared to control experiments (91.61 ± 1.93 mL/g VS). Analysis of organic acids suggests a Clostridial-type fermentation with acetate (0.52 to 1.60 g/L) and butyrate (1.69 to 2.42 g/L) being the major by-products. The microbial data analysis showed that Firmicutes (63.64–90.39%), Bacteroidota (1.16–21.88%), and Proteobacteria (2.09–9.93%) were dominant at the phylum level, whereas genus-level classification showed Clostridium sensu stricto 1 (6.37–42.63%), Streptococcus (1.87–28.96%), Prevotella (0.57–16.59%), and Enterococcus (0.56–14.51%) dominated under different experimental conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number127404
Number of pages9
JournalBioresource Technology
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal

User-Defined Keywords

  • Amplicon sequence variants
  • Dark fermentation
  • Food waste
  • Hydrogen
  • Inoculum pretreatment
  • Organic acids


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