Bielefeld researchers develop hydrogen-producing algae

The working group of Mr Olaf Kruse, from the Faculty of Biology at the University of Bielefeld, came together in cooperation with a working group from the Institute of Molecular Bioscience at the University of Brisbane (Australia) to develop a genetically modified alga, mutant of the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, with excellent hydrogen production capacity.

This hydrogen development process, which was also recently patented (Patent Nr. WO 2005003024), allows the alga under ideal conditions to produce up to 13 times more hydrogen.

Based on these increased hydrogen production rates, Stm6 -tel is the name of the mutated algae- offers remarkable conditions to realize in the future a biotechnology allowing to produce "Bio-hydrogen" from the sunlight using microorganisms. Further efforts are still being made in the Brisbane and Bielefeld laboratories to further increase the alga's hydrogen production rates through molecular genetic interventions. The construction of the first prototypes of bioreactors in cooperation with biotechnologists is planned again this year.

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