Submitted by: University of California, Berkeley Dept. Of Plant & Microbial Biology
Implemented country: United States
Title: Sunlight to Biofuels: Hydrogen Production by Green Photosynthesis
Photosynthesis by unicellular green algae holds promise for generating hydrogen (H2), a clean and renewable fuel, from nature’s most plentiful resources: sunlight and water. Projections of fossil fuel shortages towards the middle of this century make it important to develop new energy sources that are plentiful, renewable and environmentally friendly. Hydrogen production by green algae meets these requirements. Work under this project seeks to bring photosynthetic hydrogen production from the realm of the theoretical to the practical. The candidate has designed a novel, useful and not obvious approach to alleviate the severe oxygen problem that prevents photosynthetic H2 production from occurring; the candidate has further worked to establish H2 as an energy carrier for the future. This field offers promise for a process still in the early phase of development.