Hydrogen-producing algae farms researched

Hydrogen-producing algae farms researched

Postby cacofonix » Tue Aug 19, 2008 3:19 pm

April, 2008

Here’s a futuristic, car-related technology you won’t see in the next summer sci-fi blockbuster: the algae http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algae -powered automobile. Some varieties of the unicellular plant are being tweaked to produce of hydrogen, which can be used to power efficient, environmentally clean vehicles. Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory believe that algae’s ability to grow pretty much anywhere will enable it to be the energy farm of the near future.

When deprived of sulfur, algae stops emitting oxygen, and the hydrogenase enzyme http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enzyme manufactures hydrogen gas http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen at an efficiency level of 0.1%. Research into biological hydrogen production started around a decade ago, but only in the last few years have scientists begun to push algae to reach the golden efficiency level of 10-15%. Techniques used to stimulate extra hydrogen production have included genetic modification, shortening the chlorophyll http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorophyll stacks, and introducing copper. David Tiede, at the Argonne National Laboratory, plans to incorporate the hydrogenase enzyme into the photosynthetic protein framework.

O.1% to 15%! That's a phenomenal increase...

Full story from here - http://www.gizmag.com/hydrogen-producin ... cide/9105/
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