Klebsiella pneumoniae with crude glycerol (CG)-utilizing and hydrogen (H2)-producing abilities was successfully isolated from return activated sludge from Shatin Sewage Treatment Works. The H2 production strategy used in this study was optimized with CG concentrations and 1,020 mol of H2 was generated in 3 h. An inorganic-microbe hybrid system was constructed with metal-free hydrothermal carbonation carbon (HTCC) microspheres to enhance the H2 production under visible light (VL) irradiation. Under optimized VL intensity and HTCC concentration, an elevation of 35.3% in H2 production can be obtained. Electron scavenger study revealed that the photogenerated electrons (e-) from HTCC contributed to the additional H2 production. The variation in intercellular intermediates, enzymatic activity and reducing equivalents also suggested that the photogenerated e- interacted with K. pneumoniae cells to direct the metabolic flux towards H2 production. This study demonstrated the feasibility of using an inorganic-microbe hybrid system as a waste-to-energy technology.
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