Hydrogen Production from a Carbon-Monoxide Oxidation Pathway in Rubrivivax gelatinosus

Pin Ching Maness, Paul F. Weaver

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42 Scopus Citations


Upon feeding CO to the gas phase of a photosynthetic bacterium Rubrivivax gelatinosus CBS, a CO oxidation: H2 production pathway is quickly induced. Hydrogen is produced according to the equation CO + H2O → CO2 + H2. Two enzymes are known to be involved in this pathway: a CO dehydrogenase (CODH) with a pH optimum of 8.0 and above, and a hydrogenase with a pH optimum near 7.5. Carbon monoxide dehydrogenase also displays a temperature optimum near 50°C. When CO mass transfer is not limited during a CO uptake measurement, an extreme fast rate of CO uptake was determined, allowing for the removal of near 87% of the dissolved CO from a bacterial suspension within 10 s. This process has therefore two potential applications, one in the production of H2 gas as a clean renewable fuel using the linked CO oxidation: H2 production pathway, and another in using the CODH enzyme itself as a fuel-gas conditioning catalyst. These applications thereby will improve the overall H2 economy when gasified waste biomass serves as the inexpensive feedstock.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1407-1411
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number11-12
StatePublished - 2002

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-590-33326


  • Carbon monoxide
  • Carbon monoxide dehydrogenase
  • Hydrogen
  • Hydrogenase
  • Rubrivivax gelatinosus


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