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Open AccessArticle

Sustainable Hydrogen Photoproduction by Phosphorus-Deprived Marine Green Microalgae Chlorella sp.

Institute of Basic Biological Problems RAS, Institutskaya 2, Pushchino, Moscow Region 142290, Russia
Microbiologie, Infectiologie et immunologie, Université de Montréal, CP 6128 Succursale Centre-ville, Montréal, QC H3C 3J7, Canada
Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 7 Nanhai Road, Qingdao 266071, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Patrick Hallenbeck
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(2), 2705-2716;
Received: 10 December 2014 / Accepted: 20 January 2015 / Published: 26 January 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photosynthesis and Biological Hydrogen Production)
PDF [969 KB, uploaded 26 January 2015]


Previously it has been shown that green microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is capable of prolonged H2 photoproduction when deprived of sulfur. In addition to sulfur deprivation (-S), sustained H2 photoproduction in C. reinhardtii cultures can be achieved under phosphorus-deprived (-P) conditions. Similar to sulfur deprivation, phosphorus deprivation limits O2 evolving activity in algal cells and causes other metabolic changes that are favorable for H2 photoproduction. Although significant advances in H2 photoproduction have recently been realized in fresh water microalgae, relatively few studies have focused on H2 production in marine green microalgae. In the present study phosphorus deprivation was applied for hydrogen production in marine green microalgae Chlorella sp., where sulfur deprivation is impossible due to a high concentration of sulfates in the sea water. Since resources of fresh water on earth are limited, the possibility of hydrogen production in seawater is more attractive. In order to achieve H2 photoproduction in P-deprived marine green microalgae Chlorella sp., the dilution approach was applied. Cultures diluted to about 0.5–1.8 mg Chl·L−1 in the beginning of P-deprivation were able to establish anaerobiosis, after the initial growth period, where cells utilize intracellular phosphorus, with subsequent transition to H2 photoproduction stage. It appears that marine microalgae during P-deprivation passed the same stages of adaptation as fresh water microalgae. The presence of inorganic carbon was essential for starch accumulation and subsequent hydrogen production by microalgae. The H2 accumulation was up to 40 mL H2 gas per 1iter of the culture, which is comparable to that obtained in P-deprived C. reinhardtii culture. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydrogen photoproduction; marine green microalgae; phosphorus deprivation; dilution method hydrogen photoproduction; marine green microalgae; phosphorus deprivation; dilution method

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Batyrova, K.; Gavrisheva, A.; Ivanova, E.; Liu, J.; Tsygankov, A. Sustainable Hydrogen Photoproduction by Phosphorus-Deprived Marine Green Microalgae Chlorella sp.. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16, 2705-2716.

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