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Bioenergy Division
Applied Energy Technology Division
Biobased Materials Division
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Biohydrogen and Biogas


Group Leader: Prof. Dr. GUO Rongbo

Tel: 86-532-80662708

E-mail: guorb@qibebt.ac.cn 


Rongbo Guo. Professor. Group leader of Biohydrogen and Biogas Group. Awarded by "Max Planck Scholarship”. Prof. Guo graduated from Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, CAS, with Ph.D. degree in 2003, conducted his visiting scholar at Institute for Ecological Chemistry of the Environment and Health Research Center in Germany (GSF) in 2001 and senior visiting scholar at German Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Institute of Microbiology from 2005 to 2007. Prof. Guo is interested in anaerobic fermentation of solid biomass materials for biogas production. He has published more than 60 papers and 15 patents.  

Research Focus 

1.       Development of anaerobic industrial and agricultural waste treatment technology 

2.       Molecular analysis and isolation of the functional microbes in anaerobic system 

3.       Development of real-time monitor and control system for methane fermentation process 

4.       Biogas purification and storage technology  

5.       Biogas residues utilization technology 

Research Activities


1. Technology for agricultural biogas plant 

Agricultural straw is the most abundant biomass resource in China. High content of celluloselow biodegradability, slow biodegradability and low effective conversion are the key challenges to convert agricultural straw to bioenergy, which greatly increased the biogas production cost. We developed high-performance and high-solid-content anaerobic fermentation which greatly reduced the investment and process energy consumption of biogas plant.  


Figure 1 Demonstration project in Qingdao & Baicheng, Jilin with straw as fermentation material 

2. Anaerobic fermentation of macroalgae 

Marine macroalgae,without need of land and freshwater for their cultivation and with higher photosynthetic efficiency (68%) than terrestrial biomass (1.82.2%) , have the high potentials to fully and partly displace terrestrial biomass and produce sustainable bioenergy and biomaterials. We developed technologies for simultaneous production of hydrogen and methane from algae or algal residue in fresh water or seawater systems. 



Figure 2 Methane production from anaerobic marine macroalgae fermentation. 

3. Molecular analyses of the functional microbial populations 

Phylogenetic structure of the bacterial and archaeal communities in a full scale mesophilic corn straw-treating biogas reactor was investigated by a 16S rRNA gene-cloning method.  Several functional microbes were isolated, such as strictly anaerobic, syntrophic atomatic compounds degrading bacteria, alcohol and amino acids degrading bacteria, and hydrogen-producing bacteria. The effect of bioaugmentation with aromatic compounds degrading bacteria and hydrogen-producing bacteria on biogas production of corn straw was investigated. 


Figure 3 Bacterial and archaeal composition retrieved from corn straw treating biogas slurry 

4. Bio-methane via biogas purification 

Upgrading technologies for biogas were developed in our group. A scaling-up water-scrubbing method was developed for biogas purification in Pingdu, Qingdao. Bio-methane gas produced from the first resolution had reached the Chinese national gas standard. The recovery of methane is above 98%, and the concentration of methane can reach >97%. Further research on the second resolution and water spray processes is warranted. 


 Figure 4 Scaling up device for biogas purification demonstration project in Pingdu, Qingdao 

5. Natrual Gas Hydrate for storage and separation 

The difference character of CO2 and CH4 in clathrate hydrate formation rate was used for the biogas upgrading, the formation and release dynamic was studied with different additives as promoter for the methane clathrate hydrate storage.  


Figure 5 Lab experiment equipment for the methane storage (left) and biogas separation (right) with the clathrate hydrate formation 

 Figure 6 Combustion of methane clathrate hydrate  

Selected Publications 



    Yan-Ling Qiu, Xiao-Zhu Kuang, Xiao-Shuang Shi, Xian-Zheng Yuanand Rong-Bo Guo. Paludibacter jiangxiensis sp. nov., a strictly anaerobic, propionate-producing bacterium isolated from rice paddy field. Archives of Microbiology 196 (3), 149-155 (2014). 

    Yi Liu, Jiang-Tao Qiao, Xian-Zheng Yuan, Rong-Bo Guo and Yan-Ling Qiu Hydrogenispora ethanolica gen. nov., sp. nov., an anaerobic carbohydrate-fermenting bacterium from anaerobic sludge. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 64:1756-1762 (2014). 

    Yanling Qiu, Xiao-zhu Kuang, Xiao-shuang Shi, Xian-zheng Yuan, and Rong-bo Guo. Terrimicrobium sacchariphilum gen. nov. sp. nov., an anaerobic bacterium of the class Spartobacteria of the phylum Verrucomicrobia from a rice paddy field. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 64:1718-1723 (2014). 

    Yan-Ling Qiu, Satoshi Hanada, Yoichi Kamagata, Rong-Bo Guo, and Yuji Sekiguchi.Aminovibrio alcoholicus gen. nov. sp. nov., an anaerobic, mesophilic carbohydrates, alcohols and amino-acids degrading bacterium within the phylum Synergistetes, isolated from methanogenic sludge. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol doi:10.1099/ijs.0.060681-0 (2014).  

    Yuan, X. Z., Shi, X. S., Yuan, C. X., Wang, Y. P., Qiu, Y. L., Guo, R. B., & Wang, L. S. Modeling anaerobic digestion of blue algae: Stoichiometric coefficients of amino acids acidogenesis and thermodynamics analysis. Water research.49 (1),113-123 (2014). 

    Dawei Yang, Yanting Zhang, Dinesh Kumar Barupal, Xiaolei Fan, Reid Gustafson, Rongbo Guo, Oliver Fiehn. Metabolomics of photobiological hydrogen production induced by CCCP in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Int J Hydrogen Energy 39, 150–158 (2014). 

    Xiao-Shuang Shi, Xian-Zheng Yuan, Yu-Ping Wang, Shu-Juan Zeng, Yan-Ling Qiu, Rong-Bo Guo, Li-Sheng Wang.Modeling of the methane production and pH value during the anaerobic co-digestion of dairy manure and spent mushroom substrate Chemical Engineering Journal, 244 (15), 258-263 (2014). 


    Jiang, H.-m., Luo, S.-j., Shi, X.-s., Dai, M., & Guo, R.-b.. A system combining microbial fuel cell with photobioreactor for continuous domestic wastewater treatment and bioelectricity generation. Journal of Central South University, 20(2), 488-494 (2013). 

    Qiu, Y.-L., Muramatsu, M., Hanada, S., Kamagata, Y., Guo, R-B, and Sekiguchi, Y.. Oligosphaera ethanolica gen. nov., sp. nov., an anaerobic, carbohydrate-fermenting bacterium isolated from methanogenic sludge, and description of the Oligsphaeria classis nov. in the bacterial phylum Lentisphaerae. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol, 63:533-539 (2013). 

    Qiao Jiangtao, Qiu Yanling, Yuan Xiangzheng, Shi Xiaoshuang, Guo Rongbo. Molecular characterization of bacterial and archaeal communities in a full-scale anaerobic reactor treating corn straw. Bioresource Technology, 143: 512–518 (2013). 

    Qiao Jiangtao, Guo Rongbo, Shi Xiaoshuang, Qiu Yanling. Evaluation of DNA extraction and purification methods for corn straw biogas slurry[C], Advanced Material Research, 773113-117 (2013). 

    Shuwen Li, Shengjun Luo, Rongbo Guo, Efficiency of CO2 Fixation by Microalgae in a Closed Raceway Pond, Bioresource Technology 136, 267-272 (2013). 


    Yanting Zhang, Xiaolei Fan, Zhiman Yang, Huanyu Wang, Dawei Yang, Rongbo Guo. Characterization of H2 photoproduction by a new marine green alga, Platymonas helgolandica var. tsingtaoensis. Applied Energy, 92: 38-43 (2012). 

    Haiming Jiang, Shengjun Luo, Xiaoshuang Shi,Meng Dai, Rongbo Guo. A novel microbial fuel cell and photobioreactor system for continuous domestic wastewater treatment and bioelectricity generation. Biotechnology Letters, 34(7):1269-74 (2012). 

    Jiang, H., Luo, S., Shi, X., Dai, M., & Guo, R. B. A novel microbial fuel cell and photobioreactor system for continuous domestic wastewater treatment and bioelectricity generation. Biotechnology letters, 34(7), 1269-1274 (2012). 

    Shuwen Li, Shengjun Luo, Xiaolei Fan, Zhiman Yang, Jinsheng Yin, Rongbo Guo,High Concentration of Carbon Dioxide Sequestrated by Microalgae in A Closed Raceway Pond Photobioreactor, Advanced Materials Research 518, 376-379 (2012). 

    Shuwen Li, Shengjun Luo, Rongbo Guo, Influence of Carbon Dioxide Concentration on Microalgal Growth in a Bubble Column Photobioreactor, Advanced Materials Research 599 137-140 (2012). 


    Zhiman Yang, Rongbo Guo, Xiaohui Xu, Xiaolei Fan, Xiaoping Li. Thermo-alkaline pretreatment of lipid-extracted microalgal biomass residues enhances hydrogen production. Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology. 86 (3): 454-460 (2011).  

    Zhiman Yang, Rongbo Guo, Xiaohui Xu, Xiaolei Fan, Shengjun Luo. Hydrogen and methane production from lipid-extracted microalgal biomass residues. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 36 (5): 3465-3470 (2011). 

    Zhiman Yang, Rongbo Guo, Xiaohui Xu, Xiaolei Fan, Shengjun Luo. Fermentative hydrogen production from lipid-extracted microalgal biomass residues. Applied Energy, 88 (10): 3468-3472 (2011). 

    Xianzheng Yuan, Xiaoshuang Shi, Dalei Zhang, Yanling Qiu, Rongbo Guo, Lisheng Wang. Biogas production and microcystin biodegradation in anaerobicdigestion of blue algae. Energy Environmental Science, 4: 1511-1515 (2011).  

    Liling Jiang, Shengjun Luo, Xiaolei Fan, Zhiman Yang, Rongbo Guo. Biomass and lipid production of marine microalgae using municipal wastewater and high concentration of CO2. Applied Energy, 88 (10): 3336-3341 (2011).  

    Huanyu Wang, Xiaolei Fan, Yanting Zhang, Dawei Yang, Rongbo Guo. Sustained photo-hydrogen production by Chlorella pyrenoidosa without sulfur depletion. Biotechnology Letter, 33 (7):1345-1350 (2011). 

    Xianzheng Yuan, Xiaoshuang Shi, Peidong Zhang, Yueli Wei, Rongbo Guo, Lisheng Wang. Anaerobic biohydrogen production from wheat stalk by mixed microflora: kinetic model and particle size influence. Bioresource Technology, 102 (19): 9007-9012 (2011). 

    Yuan Xianzheng, Shi Xiaoshuang, Zeng Shujuan, Wei Yueli. Activated carbons prepared from biogas residue: characterization and methylene blue adsorption capacity. Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology, 86 (3): 361-366 (2011). 


    Zhiman Yang, Rongbo Guo, Xiaohui Xu, Xiaolei Fan, Xiaoping Li. Enhanced hydrogen production from lipid-extracted microalgal biomass residues through pretreatment. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 35 (18): 9618-9623 (2010).  

    Shujuan Zeng, Xianzheng Yuan, Xiaoshuang Shi, Yanling Qiu. Effect of inoculum/substrate ratio on methane yield and orthophosphate release from anaerobic digestion of Microcystis spp. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 178 (1-3): 89-93 (2010).  


    Guo RB, Conrad R. Extraction and characterization of soil hydrogenases oxidizing atmospheric hydrogen. Soil Biology and Biochemistry , 40 (5): 1149-1154 (2008).  

    Xiaolei Fan, Rongbo Guo, Zhiman Yang, Xiaohui Xu, Cloning and analysis of hyda1 from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii CC-124. Journal of Biotechnology (2008). 

    Qiu, Y-L., Hanada, S., Ohashi, A., Harada, H., Kamagata, Y., Sekiguchi, Y.: Syntrophorhabdus aromaticivorans gen. nov., sp. nov., the first cultured anaerobe capable of degrading phenol to acetate in obligate syntrophic associations with a hydrogenotrophic methanogen.  Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 74 (7), 2051-2058 (2008).  

Group Members

Group Leader: Prof. GUO Rongbo 

Associate Prof.: QIU Yanling, WANG Chuanshui, LUO Shengjun, FAN Xiaolei 

Assistant Prof.: YUAN Xianzheng, XU Xiaohui, YANG Zhiman, SHI Xiaoshuang, DAI Meng 

PhD/Master students: 10

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