Hydrogen production from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii biomass using a two-step conversion process: Anaerobic conversion and photosynthetic fermentation

Mi Sun Kim, Jin Sook Baek, Young Su Yun, Sang Jun Sim, Sunghun Park, Sun Chang Kim

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124 Citations (Scopus)


Chlamydomonas reinhardtii UTEX 90 accumulated 1.45 g dry cell weight and 0.77 g starch/L during photosynthetic growth using TAP media at 25 {ring operator} C in presence of 2% CO 2 for 3 days. C. reinhardtii biomass was concentrated and then converted into hydrogen and organic acids by anaerobic fermentation with Clostridium butyricum. Organic acids in the fermentate of algal biomass were consecutively photo-dissimilated to hydrogen by Rhodobacter sphaeroides KD131. In the concentrated algal biomass 52% of the starch was hydrolyzed to 37.1 mmol H 2/L-concentrated algal biomass and 13.6, 25.5, 7.4 and 493 mM of formate, acetate, propionate, and butyrate, respectively by C. butyricum. R. sphaeroides KD131 evolved 5.72 mmol H 2 per ml-fermentate of algal biomass under illumination of 8 klux at 30 {ring operator} C . Only 80% of the organic acids, mainly butyrate, were hydrolyzed during photo-incubation. During anaerobic conversion, 2.58 mol H 2 / mol starch-glucose was evolved using C. butyricum and then 5.72 mol H 2 / L-anaerobic fermentate was produced by R. sphaeroides KD131. Thus, the two-step conversion process produced 8.30 mol H 2 from 1 mol starch-glucose equivalent algal biomass via organic acids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)812-816
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2006 May 1
Externally publishedYes



  • Algal biomass
  • C. butyricum
  • C. reinhardtii
  • Hydrogen energy
  • R. sphaeroides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrochemistry
  • Fuel Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

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