Bielefeld researchers develop hydrogen-producing algae

The working group of Mr. Olaf Kruse, of the Faculty of Biology of the University of Bielefeld, has arrived in cooperation with a working group of the Institute of Molecular Biosciences (Institute of Molecular Bioscience) of the University of Brisbane (Australia) to develop a genetically modified alga, a mutant of the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, with an excellent capacity for producing hydrogen.

This hydrogen development process, which has moreover been recently patented (Patent Nr. WO 2005003024), allows the algae under ideal conditions to produce up to 13 times more hydrogen.
On the basis of these increased hydrogen production rates, Stm6 - this is the name of the mutated alga - offers remarkable conditions for carrying out biotechnology in the future allowing the production of "Bio-hydrogen" from sunlight using microorganisms.

Additional efforts are also still being made in the Brisbane and Bielefeld laboratories, in order to further increase the production rates of hydrogen algae by means of molecular genetics interventions.

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The construction of first prototypes of bioreactors in cooperation with biotechnologists is planned again this year.

- Olaf Kruse, Faculty of Biology of the University of Bielefeld - tel: +49
521 106 5611, email:
Sources: Depeche idw, Press release from the University of Bielefeld,
Editor: Nicolas Condette,

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