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Biotechnol Prog. 2007 Jan-Feb;23(1):124-30.

Hydrogen production by photoreactive nanoporous latex coatings of nongrowing Rhodopseudomonas palustris CGA009.

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BioTechnology Institute, 140 Gortner Laboratory, and Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics, University of Minnesota, 1479 Gortner Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota 55108, USA.


Nonuniform light distribution is a fundamental limitation to biological hydrogen production by phototrophic bacteria. Numerous light distribution designs and culture conditions have been developed to reduce self-shading and nonuniform reactivity within bioreactors. In this study, highly concentrated (2.0 x 108 CFU/muL formulation) nongrowing Rhodopseudomonas palustris CGA009 were immobilized in thin, nanoporous, latex coatings. The coatings were used to study hydrogen production in an argon atmosphere as a function of coating composition, thickness, and light intensity. These coatings can be generated aerobically or anaerobically and are more reactive than an equivalent number of suspended or settled cells. Rhodopseudomonas palustris latex coatings remained active after hydrated storage for greater than 3 months in the dark and over 1 year when stored at -80 degrees C. The initial hydrogen production rate of the microphotobioreactors containing 6.25 cm2, 58.4 mum thick Rps. palustris latex coatings illuminated by 34.1 PAR mumol photons m-2 s-1 was 6.3 mmol H2 m-2 h-1 and had a final yield of 0.55 mol H2 m-2 in 120 h. A dispersible latex blend has been developed for direct comparison of the specific activity of settled, suspended, and immobilized Rps. palustris.

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