Fossil fuel energy depletion and removal of environmental wastes are big problem in many countries. Some of the wastes contain a considerable amount of protein and carbon compounds; little concentration is given to utilizing or recycling these wastes in a technological way for production of renewable energy. Feathers are generated in large amounts as waste at commercial poultry processing plant, reaching millions of tons per year worldwide. Feathers are rich in keratin protein. In this work, keratin was degraded and the degraded effluent was evaluated for biohydrogen production by anaerobic (dark fermentation) process. The keratin degrading microorganisms were isolated from the soil sample where the feather wastes were disposed using minimal media with prepared keratin powder. The isolates were named as KHAD1, KHAD2 and KHAD3. The isolates were identified as Serratia marcescens KHAD1 (MH422128), Bacillus subtilis KHAD2 (MH422129) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa KHAD3 (MH422009) based on their 16S rRNA sequencing. The isolates were screened for biodegradability of keratin protein and higher biodegrading potential microorganism such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa KHAD3. The optimization studies for biohydrogen production using isolates in keratin degraded effluent at various pH (1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 & 11). The maximum biohydrogen production was obtained at pH 11 (210 ml/L) by Pseudomonas aeruginosa KHAD3.
Biohydrogen, Keratin biodegradation, poultry waste, chicken feather, Dark fermentation.
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