Immobilized Algal Cells Used for Hydrogen Production

John J. Hahn, Maria L. Ghirardi, William A. Jacoby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus Citations


This paper explores the use of the photosynthetic green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii bound to solid support particles to produce hydrogen in a two-step cycle. Bound cells are more easily cycled between growth mode and hydrogen production mode. The data indicate that the presence of silica particles does not inhibit the growth of the algae in the sulfur rich growth media. Filtration experiments reveal that the algae effectively bind to the silica particles, as high removal efficiencies are observed. The silica particles appear to approach saturation algae at a mass-loading ratio of about 0.035. In hydrogen production mode, the bound algae perform about as well as free-floating algae in terms of cumulative hydrogen production. A full-factorial experiment is described in which algae concentration was deemed to have a significant effect on cumulative hydrogen production.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)75-79
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical Engineering Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2007

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-270-42607


  • Bioreactors
  • Filtration
  • Immobilized cells
  • Kinetic parameters


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