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Perspectives and advances of biological H2 production in microorganisms

Abstract

The rapid development of clean fuels for the future is a critically important global challenge for two main reasons. First, new fuels are needed to supplement and ultimately replace depleting oil reserves. Second, fuels capable of zero CO2 emissions are needed to slow the impact of global warming. This review summarizes the development of solar powered bio-H2 production processes based on the conversion of photosynthetic products by fermentative bacteria, as well as using photoheterotrophic and photoautrophic organisms. The use of advanced bioreactor systems and their potential and limitations in terms of process design, efficiency, and cost are also briefly reviewed.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would particularly like to thank Clemens Posten and Michael Borowitzka for kindly providing us with the bioreactor pictures shown in Fig. 2. GCD acknowledges support from the AFOSR-MURI grant FA9550. OK acknowledges financial support form the University of Bielefeld and BH acknowledges the financial support of the University of Queensland (UQRDG 2004001578).

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Correspondence to Olaf Kruse.

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Rupprecht, J., Hankamer, B., Mussgnug, J. et al. Perspectives and advances of biological H2 production in microorganisms. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 72, 442–449 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-006-0528-x

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Keywords

  • Hydrogen
  • Microorganisms
  • Photosynthesis
  • Solar energy