Biohydrogen technology, skips the need for electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen

Biohydrogen, the splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen through a biologically based system that skips the production of electricity and instead uses the sunlight to perform the process directly.

Splitting water into its basic components is classically done through electrolysis. To do it, researchers use photovoltaic technologies to produce electricity to engage the process of breaking hydrogen-oxygen bond.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Research Team led by Angela Belcher, the Germeshausen Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Biological Engineering, integrated a common, harmless bacterial virus called M13 in to the use of sunlight and catalytic substance (iridium oxide) and biological pigment (zinc porphyrins) to increase production efficiency and organize the process. This system was observed to increase the production of hydrogen fourfold.

MIT researchers hope to find a similar biologically based system to produce hydrogen since the current system splits the hydrogen atoms into their component protons and electrons. So, the second part of the study is to develop a system that would combine those back into hydrogen atoms and molecules.

The pathway of bio-hydrogen production in microorganisms

Schematic image from Solar Biofuels.

For the system to be cost-competitive compared with other techniques to solar power, Thomas Mallouk, the DuPont Professor of Materials Chemistry and Physics at Pennsylvania State University, not involve in the study, said, it should be 10 times more efficient than that of the natural photosynthesis and uses less expensive catalytic materials.

Bio-hydrogen could be one promising technology for a stable H2 economy in the near future.

"It is defined as hydrogen produced biologically, most commonly by algae, bacteria and archaea. It is a potential biofuel obtainable from both cultivation and from waste organic materials." - Source: wikipedia

Return to Make Hydrogen Gas Page 

Return from Biohydrogen to Make Hydrogen Gas 


Enter Your E-mail Address
Enter Your First Name (optional)

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Making Hydrogen Newsletter.

What's your Favorite Way of Making Hydrogen?

At the end of the day, is about how to create hydrogen from solar power to bacteria! What is the coolest way you have discovered in making hydrogen?

[ ? ]

Upload 1-4 Pictures or Graphics (optional)[ ? ]


Click here to upload more images (optional)

Author Information (optional)

To receive credit as the author, enter your information below.

(first or full name)

(e.g., City, State, Country)

Submit Your Contribution

 submission guidelines.

(You can preview and edit on the next page)