Promoting dark fermentation for biohydrogen production: Potential roles of iron-based additives

Yi Ren, Buchun Si, Zhidan Liu, Weizhong Jiang, Yuanhui Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Dark fermentation (DF) is a promising technology for biohydrogen production. Low efficiency of biohydrogen production is a bottleneck of the scale-up prospects for DF. Additives have been extensively studied to improve the biohydrogen production efficiency. Among of them, iron-based additives present a promising application potential due to their demonstrated significant enhancement of DF efficiency and among the low-cost bioactive agents. However, current reviews mainly examined the effects of nano-materials on DF and an in-depth analysis of enhancing mechanisms with addition of iron-based additives in DF is still lacking. To this end, this article comprehensively reviewed and evaluated the effects of iron-based additives on DF. Further, the potential mechanisms, including altering metabolic pathways, improving activities of microbes and enzymes, promoting electron delivery, and enriching hydrogen-producing bacteria, were discussed. Lastly, prospects and challenges of iron-based additives for subsequent research and large-scale application for DF were summarized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1499-1515
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 8 2022


  • Biohydrogen production
  • Dark fermentation (DF)
  • Hydrogenases
  • Iron-based additives
  • Mechanisms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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