Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering 2019; 24(5): 833-838  
Formulation of a Low-cost Medium for Improved Cost-effectiveness of Hydrogen Production by Thermococcus onnurineus NA1
Sung-Mok Lee1,†, Joungmin Lee1,†, Seong Hyuk Lee1,†, Jae Young Kim1, Hyun Sook Lee1,2, and Sung Gyun Kang1,2,*
1Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology, Busan 49111, Korea
2KIOST School, University of Science and Technology, Busan 49111, Korea
Correspondence to: Sung Gyun Kang
Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology, Busan 49111, Korea
Tel: +82-51-664-3372; Fax: +82-51-955-3982

These authors contributed equally to this study.
Received: June 21, 2019; Revised: July 11, 2019; Accepted: July 17, 2019; Published online: October 31, 2019.
© The Korean Society for Biotechnology and Bioengineering. All rights reserved.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Hydrogen has been receiving considerable attention as a clean energy carrier. Thermococcus onnurineus NA1, a hyperthermophilic archaeon, is capable of producing hydrogen using carbon monoxide (CO) in a growth-associated manner, providing a promising platform to upcycle industrial waste gases. In order to improve cost-effectiveness of the biological hydrogen production from carbon monoxide (CO), we developed formulation of a low-cost medium for T. onnurineus 156T by substituting fishmeal and sea salt for yeast extract (YE) and reagent-grade salts, respectively. In serum bottle cultures, hydrogen production by the 156T strain was less than 30% in fishmeal-containing media when compared to that of the YE-containing MM1 medium. However, hydrogen production was increased substantially by adaptive evolution in the fishmeal-sea salt (FMSS) medium. In bioreactor experiments, the resulting strain 156T-FA showed shorter lag phase and 70% higher maximum hydrogen production rate in FMSS medium than the parent strain 156T. Our results showed that the H2 production cost was reduced by ca. 95%, when YE and chemical salts were replaced by fishmeal and sea salt, respectively.
Keywords: hydrogen, carbon monoxide (CO), medium cost, Thermococcus onnurineus NA1, adaptive evolution

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