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Hydrogen production using hydrogenase-containing oxygenic photosynthetic organisms

United States Patent

January 24, 2006
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
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A reversible physiological process provides for the temporal separation of oxygen evolution and hydrogen production in a microorganism, which includes the steps of growing a culture of the microorganism in medium under illuminated conditions to accumulate an endogenous substrate, depleting from the medium a nutrient selected from the group consisting of sulfur, iron, and/or manganese, sealing the culture from atmospheric oxygen, incubating the culture in light whereby a rate of light-induced oxygen production is equal to or less than a rate of respiration, and collecting an evolved gas. The process is particularly useful to accomplish a sustained photobiological hydrogen gas production in cultures of microorganisms, such as Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.
Melis; Anastasios (El Cerrito, CA), Zhang; Liping (Kensington, CA), Benemann; John R. (Walnut Creek, CA), Forestier; Marc (Lakewood, CO), Ghirardi; Maria (Lakewood, CO), Seibert; Michael (Lakewood, CO)
Midwest Research Institute (Kansas City, MO)
09/ 748,690
December 22, 2000
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC36-99-GO10337 between the United States Department of Energy and the Midwest Research Institute and pursuant to Contract No. DE-FC36-98 G0010278 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California at Berkley.