Clostridium butyricum NCIB 9576 evolved hydrogen gas and produced various organic acids from glucose, lactose, starch, and glycerol. Total amount of hydrogen gas produced from 1 and 2% glucose were 630 and 950ml $H_2$/l-broth, respectively, for the first 24 hrs of incubation and the maximum hydrogen production rates were 42 and 94ml $H_2$/hr/1-broth, respectively. Teh initial pH 6.8 decreased to 4.2~4.5 during the first 12~16 hrs of fermentation when the pH was not controlled, resulting in ceasing the cell growth and hydrogen evolution and in degradation of 82 and 40% glucose after 24hrs of incubation from 1 and 2% glucose, respectively. When pH was controlled to 5.5, glucose was consumed completely and resulted in increasing hydrogen production approximately 38~50% compared to the experiments without the pH control. C. butyricum NCIB 9576 produced hydrogen gas approximately 644, 1,700 and 3,080 ml $H_2$/l-broth with 0.5, 1 and 2% lactose, respectively and the maximum hydrogen production rates were 41, 141 and 179ml $H_2$/hr/l-broth, respectively. All of the lactose added was degraded completely during fermentation even though pH was not controlled. C. butyricum NCIB 9576 produced 183 and 709ml $H_2$/l-broth with 0.1 and 0.5% starch for 48 hrs, respectively, when pH was not controlled. The maximum rates of hydrogen gas production were 43 and 186ml $H_2$/l-broth, respectively and 80~100% of starch added was fermented. Approximately 107ml $H_2$/l-broth was produced using 1% glycerol by C. butyricum NCIB 9576 and the pH was maintained higher than 6.1 during fermentation without pH control. The degradation of glucose, lactose, starch and glycerol by C. butyricum NCIB 9576 were affected by the pH of fermentation broth and the organic acids released during fermentation. The pH of feremtntation broth dropped to 4.2~4.6 after 12~14 hrs incubation when glucose was used as a substrate while pHs were maintained above pH 5 under the same experimental conditions when lactose, starch and glycerol were used. The organic solvents and acids produced during glucose fermentation were mainly ethanol, butyrate, acetate and a little of propionate, while butyrate was the main organic acids during the lactose, starch, and glycerol fermentation by C. butyricum NCIB 9576.
biological hydrogen;sugars;Clostridium butyricum;organic acids