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Hydrogen production by microalgae

January 14th, 2007 | No Comments | Posted in Algae-Fuel-Research, Algae-Hydrogen

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Hydrogen production by microalgae

Journal Journal of Applied Phycology
Publisher Springer Netherlands
ISSN 0921-8971 (Print) 1573-5176 (Online)
Subject Biomedical and Life Sciences
Issue Volume 12, Numbers 3-5 / October, 2000

Hydrogen production by microalgae
John R. Benemann – 1

(1) Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA

Abstract The production of H2 gas from water and sunlight using microalgae, `biophotolysis’, has been a subject of applied research since the early 1970s. A number of approaches have been investigated, but most proved to have fundamental limitations or require unpredictable research breakthroughs. Examples areprocesses based on nitrogen-fixing microalgae and those producing H2 and O2 simultaneously fromwater (`direct biophotolysis’). The most plausible processes for future applied R & D are those which couple separate stages of microalgal photosynthesis and fermentations (`indirect biophotolysis’). These involve fixation of CO2 into storage carbohydrates followed by their conversion to H2 by the reversible hydrogenase, both in dark and possibly light-driven anaerobic metabolic processes. Based on a preliminary engineering and economic analysis, biophotolysis processes must achieve close to an overall 10% solar energy conversion efficiency to be competitive with alternatives sources ofrenewable H2, such as photovoltaic-electrolysis processes. Such high solar conversion efficiencies in photosynthetic CO2 fixation could be reached by genetically reducing the number of light harvesting(antenna) chlorophylls and other pigments inmicroalgae. Similarly, greatly increased yields of H2 from dark fermentation by microalgae could be obtained through application of the techniques of metabolic engineering. Another challenge is to scale-up biohydrogen processes with economically viable bioreactors.Solar energy driven microalgae processes for biohydrogen production are potentially large-scale,but also involve long-term and economically high-risk R&D. In the nearer-term, it may be possible to combine microalgal H2 production with wastewater treatment.

Keywords: biophotolysis – fermentations – hydrogen – microalgae – photobioreactors – photosynthetic efficiencies

Source Page @ Springer Link – you can purchase the document from here

See also:

Algae deliver hydrogen – Modified enzymes enable efficient hydrogen production

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algOS – Biodiesel from Algae Open Source

About Oilgae – Oilgae – Oil & Biodiesel from Algae has a focus on biodiesel production from algae while also discussing alternative energy in general. Algae present an exciting possibility as a feedstock for biodiesel, and when you realise that oil was originally formed from algae – among other related plants – you think “Hey! Why not oil again from algae!”

To facilitate exploration of oil production from algae as well as exploration of other alternative energy avenues, Oilgae provides web links, directory, and related resources for algae-based biofuels / biodiesel along with inputs on new inventions, discoveries & breakthroughs in other alternative energy domains such as solar, wind, nuclear, hydro, geothermal, hydrogen & fuel cells, gravitational, geothemal, human-powered, ocean & wave / tidal energy. We hope Oilgae proves to be useful as a research information & inputs resources, and as a source of news & info for business & trade of algal oil, algal fuels & new alternative energy products – specially with regard to new feedstock / feedstocks, production processes and uses, and market info such as price / prices, data & statistics

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