Navigation Links
Surprising findings on hydrogen production in green algae
Date:4/15/2013

New research results from Uppsala University, Sweden, instil hope of efficient hydrogen production with green algae being possible in the future, despite the prevailing scepticism based on previous research. The study, which is published today in the esteemed journal PNAS, changes the view on the ability of green algae which is good news.

The world must find a way of producing fuel from renewable energy sources to replace the fossil fuels. Hydrogen is today considered one of the most promising fuels for the future and if hydrogen can be produced directly from sunlight you have a renewable and environmentally friendly energy source.

One biological way of producing hydrogen from solar energy is using photosynthetic microorganisms. Photosynthesis splits water into hydrogen ions (H+) and electrons (e-). These can later be combined into hydrogen gas, (H2) with the use of special enzymes called hydrogenases. This occurs in cyanobacteria and green algae, which have the ability to use energy from the sun through photosynthesis and produce hydrogen through their own metabolism.

That green algae can produce hydrogen under certain conditions has been known and studied for about 15 years, but low efficiency has been a problem, i.e. the amount of energy absorbed by the algae that is transformed into hydrogen. One enzyme that has the ability to use sunlight to split water into electrons, hydrogen ions and oxygen is Photosystem II. Several studies have shown that some of the electrons from the enzyme are used to produce hydrogen gas under special conditions. But some have stated that most of the hydrogen gas gets its energy from other paths in the metabolism of the green algae. This would entail that it is not a matter of actual direct production of hydrogen from sunlight, and that green algae are no more efficient as energy crops than plants.

A group of researchers at Uppsala University, led by Senior Lecturer Fikret Mamedov and Professor Stenbjrn Styring, have now made a discovery that changes the view on hydrogen production from green algae. The researchers studied in detail how Photosystem II works in two different strains of the green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. By measuring exactly how the amount and activity of Photosystem II varies under different conditions, and thereby affects hydrogen production, they found that a considerable amount of the energy absorbed by Photosystem II goes directly into hydrogen production.

"As much as 80 per cent of the electrons that the hydrogen-producing hydrogenases need come from Photosystem II, which is much more than previously believed. This means that most of the hydrogen production is driven directly by solar energy. The discovery gives us hope that it in the future will be possible to control the green algae so that the efficiency becomes significantly higher than it is today", says Professor Stenbjrn Styring.


'/>"/>

Contact: Stenbörn Styring
stenbjorn.styring@kemi.uu.se
46-018-471-6580
Uppsala University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Scientists find surprising new influence on cancer genes
2. Computer modeling reveals how surprisingly potent hepatitis C drug works
3. New look at cell membrane reveals surprising organization
4. Climate changes effects on temperate rain forests surprisingly complex
5. Surprising teaching tool in K-12 science education -- Zebrafish research
6. Despite their thick skins, alligators and crocodiles are surprisingly touchy
7. Surprising demographic shifts in endangered monkey population challenge conservation expectations
8. Nuclear weapons surprising contribution to climate science
9. Seabirds study shows plastic pollution reaching surprising levels off coast of Pacific Northwest
10. First-of-its-kind study reveals surprising ecological effects of earthquake and tsunami
11. A surprising new kind of proton transfer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/30/2017)... , June 30, 2017 Today, American ... and supplier of face and eye tracking software, ... Product provider program. "Artificial intelligence ... way to monitor a driver,s attentiveness levels while ... being able to detect fatigue and prevent potential ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... TEANECK, N.J. , May 16, 2017  Veratad ... leading provider of online age and identity verification solutions, ... the K(NO)W Identity Conference 2017, May 15 thru May ... Ronald Regan Building and International Trade Center. ... across the globe and in today,s quickly evolving digital ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... The global military biometrics market ... by the presence of several large global players. The ... major players - 3M Cogent, NEC Corporation, M2SYS Technology, ... 61% of the global military biometric market in 2016. ... military biometrics market boast global presence, which has catapulted ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/25/2017)... ... July 25, 2017 , ... Fiberstar, Inc ., a global market ... Citri-Fi® 125. This natural citrus fiber is used to improve tomato-based food products by ... sauces, condiments and spreads. Today, more than ever, consumers connect ingredients to the foods ...
(Date:7/24/2017)... ... ... Charm Sciences, Inc. is pleased to announce the Charm® ROSA® Tetracycline-SL (Dilution ... (NCIMS) Laboratory Committee and Appendix N Committee as a drug residue test kit for ... voted at its annual meeting in April, 2015 to establish a pilot program to ...
(Date:7/24/2017)... ... July 24, 2017 , ... ... the stock market news outlet had initiated coverage on Interpace Diagnostics. Interpace ... and identifies exposure, progression and risk analysis from specific cancers in humans. ...
(Date:7/20/2017)... ... 20, 2017 , ... Dr. Asher Kimchi, Founder and Chairman of the ... Awards at the 22nd World Congress on Heart Disease held in Vancouver, BC, Canada. ... the Distinguished Fellowship Awards. , Dr. Asher Kimchi, together with Co-Chairmen Dr. John A. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: