Algal Hydrogen Production

U. M. N. Murthy, Maria Ghirardi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus Citations


The reduction of carbon dioxide emissions that are responsible for global climate change is currently the major scientific challenge facing the world. Harvesting solar energy via photosynthesis and converting it directly into fuel is a natural means of producing clean, renewable energy. Oxygenic photosynthetic microbes, such as green algae, are capable of simultaneously splitting water and generating oxygen and hydrogen. The harnessed energy, in the form of hydrogen gas, can then be directly coupled to a fuel cell for electricity generation, or used as a feedstock for the synthesis of more complex carbon fuels. At the moment, the efficiency of hydrogen photoproduction from green algae is very low. This article summarizes the biochemical pathway for hydrogen production from algae and the challenges that must be overcome to raise the conversion efficiency to a level that will support a commercial process.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Biological Chemistry
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
EditorsW. J. Lennarz, M. D. Lane
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9780123786319
ISBN (Print)9780123786302
StatePublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CH-2A00-83410


  • Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
  • Green algae
  • H photoproduction
  • Hydrogenase
  • Photosynthesis
  • Solar energy


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