Scientists Discover a Way to Boost Hydrogen Fuel Production Nearly Fivefold

By: | September 21st, 2016

Image courtesy Tel Aviv University

Hydrogen is widely touted as the fuel of the future. Hydrogen fuel cells are already being introduced into vehicles by auto giants BMW, Hyundai, and Toyota.

Algae could produce sustainable hydrogen for fuel cells. But they produce only a small amount of hydrogen from photosynthesis.

Now, a team of researchers from Tel Aviv University has developed a new strain of algae that is capable of producing five times more hydrogen than normal.

Image courtesy  Tel Aviv University

Image courtesy Tel Aviv University

Researchers discovered that the algae produced hydrogen from photosynthesis all the time and not for a few minutes at dawn…as assumed until now. This hydrogen is produced with the help of the enzyme hydrogenase. However, these enzymes are oxygen-sensitive – exposure to oxygen causes this enzyme to break down that impacts the quantity of hydrogen released.

Scientists now aim to find the best way to cultivate different species of microalgae that could be grown on a large scale.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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