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Posted: 2/24/2006 7:10:16 AM EDT
It's not an in-depth article, but the idea sounds cool.

www.theregister.co.uk/2006/02/24/pond_scum_breakthrough/

Pond life: the future of energy
Hydrogen-producing algae breakthrough
By Chris Williams
Published Friday 24th February 2006 15:28 GMT

Genetic engineers have made a leap in developing a strain of algae with the potential to supply fuel for a future hydrogen economy, Wired reports.

Unpublished work from the University of California at Berkeley may have brought the technology past the economically viable 10 per cent efficiency level. By shortening the chlorophyll stacks in the photosynthetic organelles, plant physiologist Tasios Melis has "probably" passed the threshold.

Chlamydomonas reinhardtii cells alternate between trapping carbon dioxide by photosysnesis and hydrogen production.

Research has already ramped-up the rate by a factor of 100,000 by isolating the algae from sulphur, and groups are working to further improve it. One problem is the hydrogenase enzyme, which releases the precious fuel, cannot currently function in the presence of oxygen - but photosynthesis requires oxygen.

It's hoped changing the algal DNA to close pores that allow oxygen in will increase the hydrogen production.

The prospect is of huge desert algae farms supplying the world with a bonanza of cheap, clean energy.

Little surprise then, that ubiquitous bio-entrepeneur Craig Venter has his finger firmly in the pie, with research aimed at polishing the hydrogen molecular pathway itself so it can operate constantly.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 7:24:14 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Admiral_Crunch:
It's not an in-depth article, but the idea sounds cool.

www.theregister.co.uk/2006/02/24/pond_scum_breakthrough/

Pond life: the future of energy
Hydrogen-producing algae breakthrough
By Chris Williams
Published Friday 24th February 2006 15:28 GMT

Genetic engineers have made a leap in developing a strain of algae with the potential to supply fuel for a future hydrogen economy, Wired reports.

Unpublished work from the University of California at Berkeley may have brought the technology past the economically viable 10 per cent efficiency level. By shortening the chlorophyll stacks in the photosynthetic organelles, plant physiologist Tasios Melis has "probably" passed the threshold.

Chlamydomonas reinhardtii cells alternate between trapping carbon dioxide by photosysnesis and hydrogen production.

Research has already ramped-up the rate by a factor of 100,000 by isolating the algae from sulphur, and groups are working to further improve it. One problem is the hydrogenase enzyme, which releases the precious fuel, cannot currently function in the presence of oxygen - but photosynthesis requires oxygen.

It's hoped changing the algal DNA to close pores that allow oxygen in will increase the hydrogen production.

The prospect is of huge desert algae farms supplying the world with a bonanza of cheap, clean energy.

Little surprise then, that ubiquitous bio-entrepeneur Craig Venter has his finger firmly in the pie, with research aimed at polishing the hydrogen molecular pathway itself so it can operate constantly.



I have heard that while all this bio fuel works great, you will need to have massive amounts of land to meet current/future needs.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 7:36:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FunYun1983:
I have heard that while all this bio fuel works great, you will need to have massive amounts of land to meet current/future needs.



I don't know about algae for creating hydrogen, but I've read that algae could be used to create enough biodiesel to replace all ground-transportation fuel if it was grown on something like 2% of current farm land. It would be great if maybe they could both benefit from the same algal ponds.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 7:54:28 AM EDT
How soon will the greenies start yelling that the world is going to run out of oxygen because all the hydrogen being produced in these farms is combining with the oxygen in the atmosphere and forming water. Oh, and don't forget all this extra water will cause sea levels to rise and affect the climate, and on and on.
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