What is it about?

Molecular hydrogen is an ideal energy carrier for a sustainable and low-carbon economy. The green algae are capable of producing hydrogen by splitting water with energy from sunlight. Hydrogen production in green algae is difficult to sustain due to extreme sensitivity of this process to oxygen, which is simultaneously released by photosynthetic apparatus of algal cells in the light. This article examines a breakthrough protocol for sustaining efficient hydrogen photoproduction in algae by transferring the growing cultures from continuous light to a train of strong light pulses superimposed on darkness or low background illumination.

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Why is it important?

The novel protocol shows a way for renewable production of hydrogen biofuel using green algae as cell factories.

Perspectives

This finding opens up new opportunities for construction of highly-efficient cell factories for production of biofuels and chemicals directly from solar energy. It provides important information how to avoid ‘wasting’ of solar-driven energy to biomass production and how to apply this energy for direct production of useful bio-products.

Dr Sergey N Kosourov
Turun Yliopisto

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This page is a summary of: A new approach for sustained and efficient H2 photoproduction by Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, Energy & Environmental Science, January 2018, Royal Society of Chemistry, DOI: 10.1039/c8ee00054a.
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