Microalgae need only sunlight and water for the production of hydrogen.
However, in order to make hydrogen production by microalgae economically feasible their efficiency has to be increased by 1-2 orders of magnitude. In the current issue of Energy and Environmental Science scientists from the AG Photobiotechnology of the Ruhr University Bochum and the Max Planck Institutes in Mülheim present how an improvement in efficiency can be achieved.
Microalgae use light-energy to extract electrons from water during photosynthesis. Most of these electrons are transported by a small, iron-containing protein, the ferredoxin PETF, to the protein ferredoxin-NADP+-oxidoreductase (FNR), which feeds the electrons into the production chain of carbohydrates.
PETF passes only a small fraction of the electrons to other proteins like the Hydrogenase. This protein is a very powerful enzyme, whose amino acid chain harbours a unique six-iron cluster, in which electrons (e-) are transferred to protons (H+) to produce hydrogen (H2).
Using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) the scientists investigated in great detail which amino acids of PETF interact with Hydrogenase and which with FNR. Thereby they identified two amino acids of PETF with negatively charged side chains that are ex-clusively important for binding FNR.
The directed genetic modification of exactly those two residues to amino acids with uncharged side chains led to an increased production of hy-drogen. Together with further modifications of the FNR this resulted in a five-fold increased rate for hydrogen production.
The knowledge-based change of electron transfer pathways has the potential to make fur-ther enhancements of hydrogen production possible. The efficiency necessary for an eco-nomic application of biological hydrogen production can probably be achieved by the com-bination of different modifications.
Thus, the presented results are important for the devel-opment of an environmentally friendly, regenerative energy supply that does not depend on expensive and rare noble metals.
The link to the publication in Energy and Environmental Science:
Dr. Sigrun Rumpel, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion in Mülheim an der Ruhr, Tel. 0208/3063895, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.cec.mpg.de
Dr. Martin Winkler, Lehrstuhl für Biochemie der Pflanzen, Ruhr Universität, 44780 Bochum, Tel. 0234/3227049, email@example.com
Esther Schlamann | Max-Planck-Institut
Microscope measures muscle weakness
16.11.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Good preparation is half the digestion
16.11.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Stoffwechselforschung
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences