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Hydrogen from Algae ! 10

Anastasios Melis, a plant- and microbial-biology professor at the University of California, Berkeley, USA, believes that genetically engineered versions of the tiny green organisms, ie Algae, have a good shot at being a viable source for hydrogen.


His trick is to use a Genetically modified Algae that absorbs sunlight better. It helps triple the production of hydrogen. He claims it also helps in the algae's production of oil, although he has not given any figures.

Melis is designing an algae, that has less chlorophyl molecules, from the present to 600 to about 130.


The calculation goes like this.


One acre of algae could produce 40 kilograms of hydrogen per day. That would bring the cost of producing hydrogen to $2.80 a kilogram.

At this price, hydrogen could compete with gasoline, since a kilogram of hydrogen is equivalent in energy to a gallon of gasoline.

Seems pretty interesting. There are some key questions that are unanswered.
Isnt it better and more efficient to make solar power than to grow algae and produce Hydrogen. Another question that remains unanswered is how do we convert Hydrogen into a fossil fuel ?
This will make sense only if the efficiency is much more than the Solar Thermal which has an efficiency of about 25 to 30 % in conversion.

http://epmb.berkeley.edu/facPage/dispFP.php?I=25
Wed July 07 2010 11:12:37 PM by Veronica Hydrogen from Algae 2164 views

Comments - 9

  • Manohar wrote:
    Thu July 08 2010 02:44:56 AM

    Here is what the technology review has to say about the Prof you are referring to and the hydrogen from algae.
    http://www.technologyreview.in/energy/19438/

    Vote Up! 4 Vote Down! 0

  • Thu July 08 2010 03:14:12 PM

    is it truly possible.if yes, then how?

    Vote Up! 2 Vote Down! 0

  • Krupali wrote:
    Thu July 08 2010 03:38:46 PM

    Heres additional news on Hydrogen from Algae !
    A patent from Origin oil
    " OriginOil, Inc. (OOIL), the developer of a breakthrough technology to transform algae, the most promising source of renewable oil, into a true competitor to petroleum, today announced a new invention that generates hydrogen from living algae, providing an additional energy source from bioreactors.

    In contrast to previously reported developments in the area, the new Hydrogen Harvester uses little or no external energy inputs, requires no sulfur deprivation or other ?stressing of the algae, and no genetic modification.

    The process employs viable, high growth rate, high oil content algae strains.

    Vote Up! 1 Vote Down! 0

  • Krupali wrote:
    Thu July 08 2010 11:17:57 PM

    Continuation of the mail from Origin OIl
    "
    The process employs viable, high growth rate, high oil content algae strains.

    ?One of the primary challenges for algae production is to achieve the best-possible energy balance,? said Riggs Eckelberry, OriginOil CEO. ?By harvesting hydrogen from algae we are able to increase the energy output of virtually any algae production system. The result is a photosynthetic technology platform that yields energy in the form of oil, biomass, and hydrogen.?

    Algae already create oxygen through photosynthesis. Recovering hydrogen provides the necessary ingredients for electricity generation using fuel cells. The energy can be used to offset the electricity requirements of algae cultivation, harvesting and downstream processing.

    Dr. Brian Goodall, OriginOil?s new CTO, commented: ?The co-generation of hydrogen at the algae production site is a critical development for the realization of a completely integrated algal biorefinery. All routes from algae to ?drop-in? fuels such as renewable diesel and jet fuel require hydrogen and hydrotreating. The Hydrogen Harvester technology would eliminate the need for hydrogen pipelines and dependence on existing refineries which are typically far removed from ideal sites for algae growth.?

    Vote Up! 2 Vote Down! 0

  • Abomohra wrote:
    Sun July 11 2010 11:33:04 AM

    It is really pretty interesting. I know that Chlamydomonas reinhardtii produces large amount of hydrogen. One week ago I cultivated it in liquid media with pH value 6.5 and after 4 days incubation period the pH of culture became 3. I guess that because of hydrogen produced naturally from the organism. But remains an open question, how can we use this hydrogen as renewable energy?? How much the cost to get usable hydrogen??
    Best Regards

    Vote Up! 8 Vote Down! 0

  • Manohar wrote:
    Mon July 12 2010 11:26:59 PM

    Hydrogen from Algae obviously is a hot area of interest. There is this Prof Melis and there is this inevitable Origin oil applying for a patent both on Hydrogen from algae.
    Different routes though.
    My question is what do we do with Hydrogen? how do we convert that into energy.

    Vote Up! 0 Vote Down! 0

  • Veronica wrote:
    Tue July 13 2010 12:00:10 AM

    The key concerns remain as mentioned
    " Isnt it better and more efficient to make solar power than to grow algae and produce Hydrogen. Another question that remains unanswered is how do we convert Hydrogen into a fossil fuel ?
    This will make sense only if the efficiency is much more than the Solar Thermal which has an efficiency of about 25 to 30 % in conversion."

    Vote Up! 0 Vote Down! 0

  • Dougelyle wrote:
    Sat July 31 2010 08:55:44 PM

    Veronica,
    I am new to this type of site. But Dr. Michael Seibert with the NREL in Colorado, USA developed growing Chlamydomonas reinhardtii for H2 in 2004. One of our members can store the H2 on metal hydrite like a CD. These can then be stacked in a changer, put in a car and run the fuel cell getting 300 mi. Then recharge. Doug

    Vote Up! 0 Vote Down! 0

  • QSurti wrote:
    Sun October 23 2011 02:30:15 PM

    Veronica:  We don't need to convert hydrogen into fossil fuel.  It can directly be used in fuel cells to produce clean power for household as well as for mobile functions.

    Vote Up! 0 Vote Down! 0

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