Four inocula collected from different operating facilities were tested in their hydrogenic performances by means of two biochemical hydrogen potential test set-ups using sucrose and food waste as substrates, with the aim of evaluating the influence of inoculum media in batch fermentative assays. The selected inocula were: activated sludge collected from the aerobic unit of a municipal wastewater treatment plant, digested sludge from an anaerobic reactor treating organic waste and cattle manure, digested sludge from an anaerobic reactor treating agroindustrial residues, and digested sludge from an anaerobic reactor of a municipal wastewater treatment plant. Test results, in terms of specific hydrogen production, hydrogen conversion efficiency, and volatile solids removal efficiency, were significantly dependent on the type of inoculum. Statistical analysis showed different results, indicating that findings were due to the different inocula used in the tests. In particular, assays performed with activated sludge showed the highest performances for both substrates and both experimental set-ups.
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