Design of Novel Strategy for Green Algal Photo-Hydrogen Production: Spectral-Selective Photosystem I Activation and Photosystem II Deactivation
Committee ChairCuello, Joel L.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractWith a surge in future demand for hydrogen as a renewable fuel, the specific aim of this study was to develop a novel strategy in photosynthetic hydrogen production from green algae, which is one of the cleanest processes among existing hydrogen-production methodologies currently being explored. The novel strategy designed was a spectral-selective PSI-activation/PSII-deactivation protocol that would work to maintain a steady flow of electrons in the electron transport system in the light-dependent part of photosynthesis for delivery of electrons to hydrogenase for photo-hydrogen production. The strategy would work to activate PSI to assist in driving the electron flow, while partially deactivating PSII to a degree that it would still supply electrons, but would limit its photosynthetic oxygen production below the respiratory oxygen consumption so that an anoxic condition would be maintained as required by hydrogenase. This study successfully showed that the implementation of the spectral-selective PSIactivation/ PSII-deactivation strategy resulted in actual and relatively sustained photohydrogen production in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii cells, which had been dark-adapted for three hours immediately prior to exposure to a PSI-spectral selective radiation, which had a spectral peak at 692 nm, covering a narrow waveband of 681-701 nm, and was applied at 15 W m⁻². The optimal condition for the PSI-spectral-selective radiation (692 nm) corresponded with low cell density of 20 mg chlorophyll L⁻¹ ("chl" henceforth) with cells grown at 25⁰C. At this condition, the PSI-spectral-selective radiation induced the maximal initial hydrogen production rate of 0.055 mL H² mg⁻¹ chl h⁻¹ which statistically the same as that achieved under white light of 0.044 mL H² mg⁻¹ chl h⁻¹, a maximal total hydrogen production of 0.108 mL H² mg⁻¹ chl which significantly exceeded that under white light of 0.066 mL H² mg⁻¹ chl, and a maximal gross radiant energy conversion efficiency for hydrogen production of 0.515 μL H² mg⁻¹ chl L⁻¹ that statistically matched that under white light of 0.395 μL H² mg⁻¹ chl L⁻¹. The study also successfully demonstrated the reversibility feature of the novel strategy, allowing for the cells to alternately engage in photo-hydrogen production and to recover by simply switching on or off the PSI-spectral-selective radiation.
Degree ProgramAgricultural & Biosystems Engineering