Demonstration of Sustained Hydrogen Photoproduction by Immobilized, Sulfur-Deprived Chlamydomonas reinhardtii Cells

Tatyana V. Laurinavichene, Alexander S. Fedorov, Maria L. Ghirardi, Michael Seibert, Anatoly A. Tsygankov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

161 Scopus Citations


It was demonstrated that immobilized, sulfur-deprived algal cultures can photoproduce H2. After identifying the optimal material and procedures for immobilization of Chlamyodomonas reinhardtii at high cell density, we examined the effect of liquid mixing, sulfate content, acetate levels and light intensity on the H2-production activity of the culture. Our results indicate that (a) liquid mixing is important to provide homogeneous conditions for the immobilized culture; (b) sulfur deprivation is necessary for hydrogen production by immobilized cultures; and (c) high light intensity decreases H2 production. The maximum total volume of H2 produced by the system (160 ml of reactor volume) was 380 ml over 23 days, and the highest rate of H2 production observed was 45 ml day-1. Cell immobilization significantly increased the duration of the H2-photoproduction phase (up to 4 weeks), maintained specific rates of H2 photoproduction similar to those of suspension cultures and showed potential for large increases in H2 production.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)659-667
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2006

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-270-40256


  • Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
  • Fiber glass matrix
  • Green algae
  • Hydrogen production
  • Immobilized cells
  • Light intensity
  • Photobioreactor
  • Photosystem II
  • Sulfur deprivation


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