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Hydrogen production by photosynthetic microorganisms

  • T. Akano
  • Y. Miura
  • K. Fukatsu
  • H. Miyasaka
  • Y. Ikuta
  • H. Matsumoto
  • A. Hamasaki
  • N. Shioji
  • T. Mizoguchi
  • K. Yagi
  • I. Maeda
Session 4 Process Economics and Commercialization

Abstract

Hydrogen is a clean energy alternative to the fossil fuels, the main source of greenhouse gas emissions. We developed a stable system for the conversion of solar energy into hydrogen using photosynthetic microorganisms. Our system consists of the following three stages:
  1. 1.

    Photosynthetic starch accumulation in green microalgae (400 L x2);

     
  2. 2.

    Dark anaerobic fermentation of the algal starch biomass to produce hydrogen and organic compounds (155 L x2); and

     
  3. 3.

    Further conversion of the organic compounds to produce hydrogen using photosynthetic bacteria (three types of reactors, parallel plate, raceway, and tubular).

     

We constructed a test plant of this process at Nankoh power plant of Kansai Electric Power Company in Osaka, Japan, and carried out a series of tests using CO2 obtained from a chemical absorption pilot-plant. The photobiological hydrogen production process used a combination of a marine alga,Chlamydomonas sp. MGA 161 and marine photosynthetic bacterium,Rhodopseudomonas sp. W-1S. The dark anaerobic fermentation of algal starch biomass was also investigated. Sustained and stable starch accumulation, starch degradation in the algal cell, and hydrogen production from algal fermentation and photosynthetic bacteria in the light were demonstrated during several experiments.

Index Entries

Microalgae cultivation algal fermentation photosynthetic bacteria reaction raceway reactor parallel plate reactor 

References

  1. 1.
    Miura, Y., Ohta, S., Mano, M., and Miyamoto, K. (1986),Agric. Biol. Chem. 50, 2837–2844.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ohta, S., Miyamoto, K., and Miura, Y. (1987),Plant Physiol. 83, 1022–1026.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Miura, Y., Saitoh, C., Matsuoka, S., and Miyamoto, K. (1992),Biosci. Biotechnol. Biochem. 56, 751–754.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Akano
    • 1
    • 2
  • Y. Miura
    • 1
  • K. Fukatsu
    • 1
    • 2
  • H. Miyasaka
    • 1
    • 2
  • Y. Ikuta
    • 4
  • H. Matsumoto
    • 3
  • A. Hamasaki
    • 3
  • N. Shioji
    • 3
  • T. Mizoguchi
    • 5
  • K. Yagi
    • 5
  • I. Maeda
    • 5
  1. 1.Kansai Electric Power Co.HyogoJapan
  2. 2.RITE Amagasaki 2nd and Nankoh LaboratoriesHyogoJapan
  3. 3.Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.HyogoJapan
  4. 4.Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.YokohamaJapan
  5. 5.Osaka UniversityOsakaJapan

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