A collaborative project on algal and bacterial H2 production

The project aims to study and exploit the microbial production of hydrogen (H2). In addition to building a competence centre around the H2 production by microorganisms and the molecular monitoring of the processes, this proposal will answer two main socio-economic issues. First, transport and many economic activities will be based on hydrogen energy in the near future. Secondly, many researches and technology developments deal with renewable resources. Therefore, a new integrated technology for a sustainable development should be promoted.

Photofermentation and dark-fermentation are the most promising ways to produce biohydrogen. The main advantage of the first process is the complete conversion of substrate, if any, to hydrogen. However, present H2 production rates by microalgae remain low. Therefore, a better understanding of the microalgal hydrogen metabolism and rate improvements by genetic engineering are needed. On the other hand, dark-fermentation achieves at present far higher H2 production rates, but improvements are expected through monitoring and optimization of bacterial diversity and activity.

What is a Joint Research Action Project (ARC) ?

It is a program which aims at developing centers of excellence, a priority for the institution, through coherent projects introduced by  experienced teams. They spread over 5 years and integrate preferably inter-disciplinary teams. The projects are submitted to the review of international specialists before examination by the Research Council.

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Website updated October 2011