Low thermal pre-treatment of palm kernel expeller to enhance microalgal hydrogen production

Khairun Nadia Muhamad, Nurul Tasnim Sahrin, Raid Abdulrahman Alakeel, Rabbani Syed, Fatima Musa Ardo, Jia Min Woon, Wen Nee Tan, Chin Kui Cheng, Zakariyya Uba Zango, Chii Dong Ho, Sze Mun Lam, Jin Chung Sin, Kuan Shiong Khoo, Worapon Kiatkittipong, Jun Wei Lim

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Scopus citations


    The production of hydrogen from microalgae has inevitably intrigued considerable interests off late. However, the commercial production of microalgal hydrogen is not yet feasible due to the intricate production processes and expensive procedures. Therefore, this research work intended to streamline the microalgal hydrogen generation by utilizing the organic solid waste, palm kernel expeller (PKE), for converting into microalgal hydrogen. Accordingly, the impacts of low thermal pre-treatment method using hydrolysis process was studied at 50 °C, 70 °C, and 90 °C to overcome the recalcitrance of lignocellulosic PKE in associating with the rate of microalgal hydrogen production. The results evidenced that the maximum hydrogen yield was attained at 638 mL H2/g microalgae under the dark anaerobic environment whilst using PKE that was pre-treated at 90 °C for 4 h. In comparison with untreated PKE, this microalgal hydrogen yield had increased by two folds. The release of inhibitory compounds had increased significantly at 50 °C. Thereafter, the zeroth order model was employed to quantify the kinetics of microalgal hydrogen production. The highest rate was successfully achieved at 128 mL H2/g microalgae-d while subsisting on 90 °C pre-treated PKE for 4 h.

    Original languageBritish English
    Article number128193
    StatePublished - 1 Aug 2023


    • Carbohydrates
    • Hydrogen
    • Kinetics
    • Microalgae
    • Palm kernel expeller
    • Thermal pre-treatment


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