Enhanced Biological Hydrogen and Algal Biofuel Production from Ferredoxin Manipulations
Ferredoxins (FDX) are electron carriers found in plants utilized in biological hydrogen production. It was hypothesized that a forced electron pathway through super-efficient FDX1 would generate a sustainable source of biological H2 for use in fuel cells. It was found that enhancing FDX1 inhibiting ferredoxin NADP+ reductase generated 0.012 kg of H2/m2 per day for every 0.2 mm layer of algae. This means 60 kg of H2 can be produced from one cubic meter of algae per day. Moreover, results showed that H2 production had no effect on lipid production, thus proving that both byproducts could be collected simultaneously. A prototype algae cultivation raceway track, CACBA, was built to test this method at a potential commercial scale. Using this track, H2 production was optimized at $0.89/1.00kg. In the future, excess biomass after collection of both lipids and hydrogen gas will be tested for pharmaceutical pigment extraction.