Cultivation of phototrophic micro-organisms is a small, but nevertheless important and growing sector in biotechnology. Light is the only energy source they need, and CO2 is the sole, or at least major, carbon source. These features offer several advantages for processes:
- Clean and environmentally friendly operation
- Production of compounds with high degree of reduction of antimicrobial activity
- In some cases, cheap outdoor production
Photobiotechnological Hydrogen Production with Microalgae
Certain unicellular green algae and cyanobacteria have evolved the ability to use solar energy to produce H2 from water. The solar conversion efficiency can be high, but only for transient period, owing to yet-incompletely understood mechanisms. These will need to be optimised to reach commercial viability. Further fundamental improvement will only be achieved through parallel interlocked biotechnology and engineering-driven approaches, in which algal bioengineering is closely connected to the construction of bioreactors optimised for the relevant physiological and technical parameters that are needed for the production process. The basis for the biological component of such a strategy is the availability of the high-H2 production Chlamydomonas reinhardtii mutant Stm6.