|We recently reported that Thermatoga neapolitana DSM5068 could efficiently process glucose feedstock to yield copious amounts of H2 at temperatures between 70-85oC and ambient pressure (Van Ooteghem et al., 2004, Biotechnol. Lett. 26: 1223-1232). One unusual feature of this thermophylic bacterium is its ability to produce H2 under microaerobic conditions. For example, in the presence of O2 (up to 8% in air), the H2 yield somewhat maximizes. The origin of this unusual O2 is under investigation and is likely to involve: 1) an altered structure of the active center for H2 production, i..e., [FeFe]-hydrogenases compared to that known for mesophylic microorganisms or 2) the subtle changes in the geometry of the protein that envelopes the active [FeFe] center. Further work in our laboratories also shows these microorganisms could operate even at high pressures of up to 2 MPa. |
While we investigate the mechanistic aspects of this H2 producing system, we have begun to address scale-up issues. We envision continuous H2 production could be achieved in a 14L vessel for demonstration on a farm. The schematics of this set up and the related chemistry will be presented.
Symposium on Clean Fuels from Biomass
1:30 PM-5:15 PM, Tuesday, 12 September 2006 Palace -- Twin Peaks North, Oral