Three-stage process for tequila vinasse valorization through sequential lactate, biohydrogen and methane production

Octavio García-Depraect, Raúl Muñoz, Jules B. van Lier, Eldon R. Rene, Víctor F. Diaz-Cruces, Elizabeth León-Becerril*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)


This study evaluated a novel three-stage process devoted to the cascade production of lactate, biohydrogen and methane from tequila vinasse (TV), with emphasis on attaining a high and stable biohydrogen production rate (HPR) by utilizing lactate as biohydrogen precursor. In the first stage, tailored operating conditions applied to a sequencing batch reactor were effective in sustaining a lactate concentration of 12.4 g/L, corresponding to 89% of the total organic acids produced. In the second stage, the stimulation of lactate-centered dark fermentation which entails the decoupling of biohydrogen production from carbohydrates utilization was an effective approach enabling stable biohydrogen production, having HPR fluctuations less than 10% with a maximum HPR of 12.3 L/L-d and a biohydrogen yield of 3.1 L/LTV. Finally, 1.6 L CH4/L-d and 6.5 L CH4/LTV were obtained when feeding the biohydrogen fermentation effluent to a third methanogenic stage, yielding a global energy recovery of 267.5 kJ/LTV.
Original languageEnglish
Article number123160
Number of pages9
JournalBioresource Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Bioenergy
  • Dark fermentation
  • Lactic acid fermentation
  • Methane
  • Three-stage anaerobic digestion


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