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hydrogen production
In this cross-section illustration of a cyanobacteria, incoming sunlight is captured and used to generate a cellular electron pool that researchers were able to tap to produce hydrogen. © 2015 WYSS Institute
This research resulted in a 500-fold increase in the amount of hydrogen produced in the bacterium used, thus potentially bringing biological production of this clean fuel source one step closer to economic feasibility. They focused their attention on one possible -- yet problematic -- biological production method involving an enzyme known as hydrogenase.The researchers developed a technology that could serve as a platform from which to engineer oxygen-tolerant enzymes. Their approach could help lead the way to a cost-effective process for producing significant amounts of hydrogen.

For more than a decade, hydrogen has been touted as a clean alternative to fossil fuels because it releases a significant amount of energy relative to its weight and also produces nothing but water when it burns. It can also be produced cleanly, using biological methods, such as photosynthesis. However, the high costs incurred in production have proved too big an obstacle to allow for its wide-spread use.


Efficient solar-to-fuels production from a hybrid microbial–water-splitting catalyst system


Joseph P. Torellaa, Christopher J. Gagliardib, Janice S. ChenaD. Kwabena BediakobBrendan Colóna, Jeffery C. WaycPamela A. Silvera, and Daniel G. Nocerab

Published Date and JournalFebruary 9, 2015, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences


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About the author

View full profile Jérôme Lutz from Berlin & Munich, Germany

I like to share the great things I discover daily while researching and working in the field of Synthetic Biology.

When I talk to people about it, they often refer to Science Fiction. However, when I send them links to this wiki and they read through those pages, they start understanding that this is real and it's happening right now.