Volume No. 6 Issue No.: 3A Page No.: 779-783 Jan-Mar 12

 

BIOLOGICAL PHOTOHYDROGEN PRODUCTION BY CYANOBACTERIA : FUTURE PROSPECTS AS A FUEL

 

Kamra Anjana*, Bala Kiran, Sharma Mona and Anubha Kaushik

Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Guru Jambheshwar University of Science and Technology, Hisar, Haryana (INDIA)

 

Received on : December 25, 2011

 

ABSTRACT

 

Biological hydrogen production by cultivation of photosynthetic microorganisms offers an alternative clean, sustainable and conventional source of energy. Cyanobacteria produce molecular hydrogen by the activity of nitrogenases or hydrogenases. Cyanobacteria have evolved several strategies to protect the nitrogenases from the inhibitory effect of oxygen, which include spatial and temporal separation of nitrogen fixing and oxygen evolving processes and developing physical barriers like heterocysts to diffusion of oxygen. Reversible hydro- genases catalyze both uptake and evolution of hydrogen. Oxygen and nitrogen free atmosphere have been reported to dramatically increase the activity of reversible hydrogenase. In view of the requirement of oxygen free environment for both nitrogenases and hydrogenases involved in cyanobacterial hydrogen production, future research needs to be focused on exploration of novel species from diverse habitats with greater hydrogen evolving capability, development of mutants that lack hydrogen oxidizing enzyme, uptake hydrogenase and optimization of conditions in the algal bioreactors. Synergy between basic and applied aspects needs to be developed to make cyanobacterial hydrogen production sustainable and feasible alternative fuel in future.

 

Keywords : Hydrogenases, Hydrogen production, Heterocysts, Reversible hydrogenases, Nitrogenuse

 

 

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