MoRitS is a cooperation of

University of Bielefeld

University of Applied Sciences Bielefeld

government-funded by

Ministry of innovation, sciences and research of the State of Nordrhein-Westfalen


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Project 5:

Immobilization of Algae in Novel Silica Gels for Biological Hydrogen Production

Prof. Dr. Olaf Kruse (algae biotechnology), Bielefeld University
Prof. Dr. Anant Patel (immobilization), FH Bielefeld



Among some other micro-organisms, the monocellular microalgae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is able to use sunlight for the production of molecular hydrogen under anaerobic conditions. However, such a hydrogen production is not very efficient yet.

This project aims at establishing and optimizing continuous production of hydrogen by immobilized microalgae. As a first stage, algae strains need to be identified that are suitable for immobilization, and secondly, these strains are to be optimized through genetic engineering. Besides, novel materials and methods need to be developed which allow for immobilizing the algae gently in transparent, bio-compatible silica gels. The hydrogen production of selected immobilized algae will be explored.

Immobilized microalgae
Chlamydomonas immobilized in novel silica gels for biological hydrogen production;
A: Chloroplast, B: Free Cells, C: Entrapped Cells