Reducing carbon emissions in order to prevent climate change requires developing new technologies for sustainable and renewable biofuel production. Molecular hydrogen is regarded as one of the most promising energy carriers due to its high energy density and clean, carbon-free use. A research group from the University of Turku has discovered an efficient way for transforming solar energy into the chemical energy of biohydrogen through the photosynthesis of green algae that function as cell factories.
During photosynthesis, green algae utilise harvested solar energy to split water, release oxygen into the atmosphere and produce biomass that functions as an excellent feed-stock in the blue biorefinery.
Green algae are also efficient biocatalysts and can transform solar energy and carbon dioxide directly into different valuable compounds, such as vitamins, antioxidants, polymers, and carbohydrates.
– When algal cells are first incubated under anaerobic conditions in the dark and then exposed to light, they start producing hydrogen efficiently, but unfortunately only for a few seconds, says the leader of the research group, Yagut Allahverdiyeva-Rinne, Associate Professor of Molecular Plant Biology at the University of Turku.
Researchers have already for decades believed that the main obstacle to the longer-term hydrogen production in algae in light is the destruction of the hydrogenase enzyme, a key element in this process, which is caused by oxygen.
– Since algae constantly release oxygen during their photosynthesis that occurs simultaneously with the production of hydrogen, maintenance of anaerobic conditions in illuminated cultures has been particularly troublesome, says Senior Researcher Sergey Kosourov, a member of the research group.
New and Ecologically Sustainable Method to Produce Biohydrogen
The researchers at the University of Turku decided to apply the knowledge retrieved from the basic research on the photosynthesis of algae and established a new method for producing hydrogen that does not expose green algae to additional nutritional starvation and, thus, without applying any significant stress to the cells.
The researchers showed that the production of hydrogen could be significantly extended by simply exposing the anaerobic algal cultures to a train of strong yet short light pulses, which are interrupted by longer dark periods.
– Under these conditions, algal cultures exposed to sunlight do not accumulate oxygen in the medium. In addition, algae steer the electrons resulting from the decomposition of water and charged by sunlight into hydrogen production instead of biomass accumulation. The process lasts for, at least, several days and the maximum rate of the production of hydrogen occurs during the first eight hours, Kosourov says.
The research indicated clearly that a major obstacle to efficient hydrogen production is not oxygen but a strong competition between two metabolic pathways: carbon dioxide fixation leading to the biomass accumulation and the hydrogenase enzyme catalysing photoproduction of hydrogen.
– The study opens up new possibilities for the construction of efficient living cell factories for the production of biofuels and different chemicals directly from sunlight, carbon dioxide and water. The research provides important information on how to avoid ‘wasting’ solar-driven energy in biomass production and how to apply this energy directly for the production of useful bio-products, Allahverdiyeva-Rinne says.
The new method developed by the researchers is valuable both for the basic research of the photosynthesis of algae and for the research and development work of the industrial sector when producing new technologies for the large-scale production of carbon neutral biofuels.
The Latest on: Bohydrogen
via Google News
The Latest on: Biohydrogen
- FEED for Protos’ municipal waste-to-biofuels planton May 16, 2022 at 2:52 am
The commercial-scale Protos plant will incorporate ABSL’s RadGas process technology and will be the first to produce grid-grade biomethane and biohydrogen from municipal waste. Located on the Protos ...
- Protos Biofuels’ first commercial scale municipal waste to biofuels plant progresseson May 12, 2022 at 2:36 am
Protos Biofuels, a project developed by Advanced Biofuel Solutions Ltd and Greenergy, have announced that its first municipal waste to advanced biofuels project has progressed into the front-end ...
- World’s first commercial scale municipal waste-based biofuel plant project reaches FEED phase – Sumitomo SHI FW to supply fluidized-bed gasifieron May 11, 2022 at 8:24 am
The clean syngas is then converted into biomethane and biohydrogen. The commercial scale Protos plant will incorporate ABSL’s RadGas process technology and be the first to produce grid-grade ...
- Cleantech Leader Aymium Announces World’s Largest Advanced Biocarbon Contract for Its Coal Replacement Producton May 9, 2022 at 3:31 am
About Aymium Aymium produces high-value biocarbon and biohydrogen products that can be used to immediately replace fossil fuels in the production of metals, energy, crops, and in the purification ...
- Cleantech Leader Aymium Announces World's Largest Advanced Biocarbon Contract for Its Coal Replacement Producton May 9, 2022 at 3:15 am
Aymium, the leading producer of renewable biocarbon products, announced that it has entered a long-term supply contract for its patented, coal replacement product with Hokuriku El ...
- Could cities soon be made of mushrooms?on May 7, 2022 at 3:39 pm
From building materials to water filtration, fungi could offer a more sustainable future for metropolises around the world. Could cities soon be made of mushrooms?. . News.
- Could cities soon be made of mushrooms?on May 7, 2022 at 3:36 pm
Photograph: DelOs / MycoComposite / EcovativeEcovative packaging made from mycelium technology ‘Other biofuels like ethanol, biodiesel and biohydrogen require alterations in existing motor ...
- Our Energy Future: Introduction to Renewable Energy and Biofuelson May 2, 2021 at 7:22 pm
In addition, biodiesel is fairly easy to obtain as it can be derived from vegetable... CHAPTER EIGHT Gaseous Biofuels: Biogas and Biohydrogen CHAPTER EIGHT Gaseous Biofuels: Biogas and Biohydrogen (pp ...
- Sustainable Bioenergy: Genomics and Biofuels Developmenton August 8, 2012 at 5:30 pm
What are some ways genomics is helping solve the global energy crisis? Genomics is contributing to the development of renewable energy sources and genetic engineering of enzymes. One of the ...
via Bing News