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Multi-stage microbial system for continuous hydrogen production

United States Patent

June 8, 2010
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
National Renewable Energy Laboratory - Visit the NREL Technology Transfer Website
A method of using sequential chemostat culture vessels to provide continuous H.sub.2 production, in which photosynthetic O.sub.2 evolution and H.sub.2 photoproduction are separated physically into two separate bioreactors, comprising: a) growing a microorganism culture able to continuously generate H.sub.2 by photosynthetically producing cells at about the early-to-late log state in a first photobioreactor operating as a sulfur chemostat under aerobic and/or conditions; b) continuously feeding cells from the first photobioreactor to a second photobioreactor operating under anaerobic conditions and sulfur deprivation conditions resulting from constant uptake of sulfate in the first bioreactor and a low rate of culture flow between the first and second bioreactors, for induction of hydrogenase and H.sub.2 photoproduction to allow for continuous cultivation of the microorganism's cells in the first photobioreactor and constant H.sub.2 production in the second photobioreactor, and c) H.sub.2 gas from the second photobioreactor.
Kosourov; Sergey (Pushchino, RU), Ghirardi; Maria L. (Lakewood, CO), Seibert; Michael (Lakewood, CO)
Alliance For Sustainable Energy, LLC (Golden, CO)
10/ 543,866
October 1, 2003
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION The United States Government has rights in this invention under Contract No. DE-AC3699GO10337 between the United States Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a division of the Midwest Research Institute.