Hydrogen is an essential commodity with over 60 million tons produced globally every year. However, more than 95% of it is made by steam reformation of fossil fuels, a process that is energy intensive and produces carbon dioxide. If we could replace even a part of that with algal biohydrogen that is made via light and water, it would have a substantial impact.
This is essentially what has just been achieved in the lab of Kevin Redding, professor in Arizona State University‘s School of Molecular Sciences and director of the Center for Bioenergy and Photosynthesis.
The center’s research, titled “Rewiring photosynthesis: a Photosystem I -hydrogenase chimera that makes hydrogen in vivo,” was published in the high-impact journal Energy and Environmental Science.
“What we have done is to show that it is possible to intercept the high-energy electrons from photosynthesis and use them to drive alternate chemistry, in a living cell,” Redding said. “We have used hydrogen production here as an example.”
“Kevin Redding and his group have made a true breakthrough in reengineering the Photosystem I complex,” said Ian Gould, interim director of the School of Molecular Sciences, which is part of The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “They didn’t just find a way to redirect a complex protein structure that nature designed for one purpose to perform a different, but equally critical process, but they found the best way to do it at the molecular level.”
It is common knowledge that plants and algae, as well as cyanobacteria, use photosynthesis to produce oxygen and “fuels,” the latter being oxidizable substances like carbohydrates and hydrogen. There are two pigment-protein complexes that orchestrate the primary reactions of light in oxygenic photosynthesis: Photosystem I (PSI) and Photosystem II (PSII).
Algae possess an enzyme called hydrogenase that uses electrons it gets from the protein ferredoxin, which is normally used to ferry electrons from PSI to various destinations. A problem is that the algal hydrogenase is rapidly and irreversibly inactivated by oxygen that is constantly produced by PSII.
In this study, doctoral student and first author Andrey Kanygin has created a genetic chimera of PSI and the hydrogenase such that they co-assemble and are active in vivo. This new assembly redirects electrons away from carbon dioxide fixation to the production of biohydrogen.
The Latest Updates from Bing News & Google News
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- Engineering researchon May 27, 2021 at 3:21 pm
In eukaryotic algae, poly-P synthesis has been reported in both P-rich (e.g. wastewater ponds) and P-depleted (e.g. natural ecosystems) environments, but we do not fully understand how (the molecular ...
- Our Energy Future: Introduction to Renewable Energy and Biofuelson April 25, 2021 at 2:57 pm
CHAPTER EIGHT Gaseous Biofuels: Biogas and Biohydrogen CHAPTER EIGHT Gaseous Biofuels ... CHAPTER NINE Aquatic Versatility for Biofuels: Cyanobacteria, Diatoms, and Algae CHAPTER NINE Aquatic ...
- Biofuel Basicson March 1, 2021 at 7:12 pm
The Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) is collaborating with industry to develop next-generation biofuels made from non-food (cellulosic and algae-based) resources. Over the past decade, BETO ...
- Chemical, bioprocess and environmental engineeringon October 6, 2018 at 4:02 am
We have extensive experience in wastewater systems, in removing pollutants from wastewater with a focus on algal-based wastewater treatment in ponds (e.g. wastewater stabilization ponds, and high rate ...
- Novel Photobioreactor Development for Space Applicationson December 5, 2016 at 6:17 am
To date SABR has passed the following milestones: Demonstrated growth of algal biomass using 25 times less water ... colleagues at Lawrence Livermore National Labs and Stanford on biohydrogen ...
Go deeper with Google Headlines on:
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- World’s first fossil-free steel plant fueled by hydrogenon June 21, 2021 at 6:06 am
Sweden’s Hybrit is developing a rock cavern storage facility for fossil-free hydrogen gas, which will be used in the pilot facility for direct reduction in Luleå.
- World-First Test Production of Fossil-Free Hydrogen-Reduced Sponge Iron Completedon June 21, 2021 at 5:59 am
A pioneering pilot project in Lulea, Sweden, designed to produce “fossil-free” steel has successfully completed test production of sponge iron, ...
- AmmPower Corp. Enters into Definitive Agreement to Acquire Hydrogen Oneon June 21, 2021 at 5:52 am
AmmPower is now positioned to provide on-site production of green hydrogen from ammonia through its novel process. VANCOUVER, BC / ACCESSWIRE / June 21, 2021 / AmmPower Corp. (OTC ...
- Air Liquide, Airbus and Groupe ADP Partner to Prepare Paris Airports for the Hydrogen Eraon June 21, 2021 at 3:45 am
Airbus and Groupe ADP have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to prepare for the arrival of hydrogen in airports by 2035 as part of the development of hydrogen-powered commercial aircraft. The ...
- Green hydrogen blow as $36bn global flagship project ruled 'clearly unacceptable' by Australiaon June 21, 2021 at 1:53 am
Decision a setback for 26GW wind and solar initiative among largest to pioneer production of renewable fuels at 'oil and gas scale' ...