Microaerobic hydrogen production by photosynthetic bacteria in a double- phase photobioreactor

Tadashi Matsunaga*, Tomoyuki Hatano, Akiyo Yamada, Mitsufumi Matsumoto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


The rate of hydrogen production by the marine nonsulfur photosynthetic bacterium, Rhodovulum sp., increased with increasing light intensity. A light intensity of 1800 W/m2 hydrogen production rate was achieved at the rate of 9.4 μmol/mg dry weight/h. The hydrogen production of this strain was enhanced by the addition of a small amount of oxygen (12 μmol O2/reactor). Intracellular ATP content was most efficiently accumulated under microaerobic, dark conditions. Hydrogen production rate by Rhodovulum sp. was investigated using a double-phase photobioreactor consisting of light and dark compartments. This rate was compared with data obtained using a conventional photobioreactor. Rhodovulum sp. produced hydrogen at a rate of 0.38 ± 0.03 μmol/mg dry weight/h under microaerobic conditions using the double-phase photobioreactor. The hydrogen production rate was four times greater under microaerobic conditions, as compared with anaerobic conditions using either type of photobioreactor. Hydrogen production using a double- phase photobioreactor was demonstrated continuously at the same rate for 150 h. (C) 2000 John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)647-651
Number of pages5
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Jun 20
Externally publishedYes


  • Double-phase photobioreactor
  • Hydrogen production
  • Marine photosynthetic bacteria
  • Microaerobic condition
  • Respiration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Microbiology


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