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Title: Hydrogen%20from%20Algae%20%20Nanotechnology%20Solutions


1
Hydrogen from Algae Nanotechnology Solutions
  • Foothill College
  • Bio-Nano-Info Program

2
Energy from the Early Earth
3
Energy Metabolism
4
Hydrogen Metabolism
  • H2S ? 2H S
  • H2O ? H OH
  • H2 ? 2 H 2e-
  • In photosynthesis (simplified)
  • H20 ? H OH 2e-
  • 2H CO2 ? CH2O
  • OH OH ? H2O O
  • 2O 2e- ? O2

5
Life on Earth
6
Hydrogenase
  • Biological cleavage of H2 is a common metabolic
    process in prokaryotes and lower eukaryotes and
    is catalyzed by two major classes of enzymes the
    NiFe- and the Fe-hydrogenases.
  • Three distinct NiFe-hydrogenases of Ralstonia
    eutropha (formerly Alcaligenes eutrophus) are in
    the center of this project, the regulatory (RH),
    the NAD-linked (SH) and the membrane-bound (MBH)
    hydrogenase

7
NiFe and Fe Hydrogenase
8
Algae Hydrogenase Proteins
9
Fossilized Blue Green Algae
These filaments are believed to be the fossilized
imprints of blue-green algae, one of the earliest
life forms. They occur in the Bitter Springs
Formation in Australia and are about 850 million
years old. 
10
Rise of Atmospheric O2
11
Photosynthetic Reactions
12
Photosynthetic Reaction Center
1PRC
13
Green Algae at Work Making H2
Algal cell suspension / cells
Thylakoid membrane ?
14
In Vitro Photo-Production of H2
Yellow arrow marks insertion of hydrogenase
promoter. Right side exp. optimized for
continuous H2 production.
15
Production of H2 From Algae
http//www.eere.energy.gov/hydrogenandfuelcells/pd
fs/iic2_lee.pdf
16
H2 Energy Calculations
Assumptions were made that 10 micro mole of H2
can be produced per hour (roughly 50 of peak
maximum but extended for an hour) per mg of
chlorophyll.   Additionally, a density of 10 of
the top 1 cm (or 100 of top mm) of the system
would be populated by chlorophyll, for a density
of 1 mg chlorophyll per square cm of
collector.   This leads to 10,000 cm multiplied
by 10 mg chlorophyll per centimeter for a total
of 100,000 mg chlorophyll.  Multiplying 100,000
mg chlorophyll by 10 micromole H2 generated per
hour per mg chlorophyll yield 1 mole of hydrogen
gas per square meter per hour.   Combusting one
mole of H2 with one half mole of oxygen (H2 ½
O2 ? H2O) yields 286 KJoules or 68 Kcal. Using
any of the following conversions yields KWatt
hours or watts from this reaction   1 calorie
4.184 Joules 1 calorie 0.0011622 KwHr 1 Joule
0.0002778 Watt hours 1 K Joule 0.2778
watts   286 KJoules X 0.2778 Watts / KJoules 79
Watts   68,355 calories X 0.0011622 KwHr per
calories 79 KwHr   On first pass, it appears
that 1 square meter of hydrogen producing algae
(modified for continuous hydrogen production)
yields about 79 watts, or enough to run a 75 watt
light bulb at full power.
17
ORNL Project Road Map
  • Year 1- Design and construction of DNA sequence
    coding for polypeptide proton channel
  • Year 2 - Genetic transfer of hydrogenase
    promoter-linked polypeptide proton-channel DNA
    into algal strain DS521
  • Year 3 - Characterization and optimization of the
    polypeptide proton-channel gene expression
  • Year 4 - Demonstration of efficient and robust
    production of H2 in designer alga (ready for next
    phase - scale-up and commercialization)

18
Genetic / Biochemical Engineered H2 Bacterium
  • Sequence coding for polypeptide proton channel
    create gene for proton pump
  • Genetic transfer of hydrogenase promoter-linked
    polypeptide proton-channel DNA into algal genome
    express pump with H2
  • Characterization and optimization of the
    polypeptide proton-channel gene expression

19
Proposed Engineered H2 Bacterium
http//gcep.stanford.edu/pdfs/tr_hydrogen_prod_uti
lization.pdf
20
Promoter Spliced into Operons
21
Polypeptide Proton Channel
  • Protons that build up from cleavage of H2O into H
    atoms repress hydrogenase reaction
  • Need to pump hydrogen atoms away from the
    photosynthetic reaction core, and into storage
  • Hydrogen storage in a carbon nanotube can be the
    first stage in a nano-structure fuel cell
  • Platinum doped carbon nanotubes might be an
    integrated device storage, fuel cell, and battery

22
Membrane Bound Protein Pumps
Proton and ion pumps consume a lot of cellular
energy Nano-channels could be useful
23
Proteins in Plasma Membrane
24
Transmembrane DomainsAlpha Helix Structure
25
Transmembrane DomainsBeta Sheet Structure
26
Nano Solutions Hydrogen Storage
27
Carbon Nanotube Structures
28
Nanotubes / Nanohorns
The electrical properties of nanotubes /
nanohorns can change, depending on their
molecular structure. The "armchair" type has the
characteristics of a metal the "zigzag" type has
properties that change depending on the tube
diametera third have the characteristics of a
metal and the rest those of a semiconductor the
"spiral" type has the characteristics of a
semiconductor.
29
Nanotube Properties
http//nanotech-now.com/nanotube-buckyball-sites.h
tm
30
Nanotube Semi Structures
31
Hydrogen Fuel Cell Basics
   
http//micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/java/fuelcell/
32
Hydrogen Fuel Cell Diagrams
Schematic representation of a composite electrode
for low temperature fuel cells
Schematic representation of themembrane
electrode assembly
http//www1.physik.tu-muenchen.de/lehrstuehle/E19/
research/pefc.html
33
Electrochemical Probes with Nanometer Dimensions
34
Photovoltaic Cells for Solar Capture
35
H2 Production might also be used in Space
36
Summary
  • Hydrogen metabolism is ancient, and highly
    conserved in hydrogenase / photosynthesis
  • With genetic / biochemical engineering, algae can
    make H2 in significant amounts
  • Capturing and wicking of H2 into a carbon
    nanotube fuel cell / battery is very feasible
  • A 1 sq. meter collector could power a 500 watt
    household with 10X technology gain
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