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I want to make photobioreactor which can be used for algae cultivation to produce hydrogen, which is the optimal way? Answered

Photobioreactor is a device or an arrangement used for cultivation of algae. Algae when produced can be used as a resource of biofuel, and hence hydrogen can also be produced from it. I have found many methods for algae production, but failed to know about the actual process of hydrogen production from it. so, what is the step by step process to produce hydrogen from algae economically?


Generally Algae produce biomass and oxygen, not hydrogen. Biofuels are usually produced from the biomass either directly (burn dry algae), by extracting oils (to produce biodiesel) or by fermenting the biomass (to produce alcohol).

If you really want to produce hydrogen you have 2 options:
1. use the biomass to generate power to electrolyse hydrogen from water
2. use very specific species of algae in very specific growing conditions to generate hydrogen directly and use membrane filters to separate H2 from the other gases.

If you built the homebrew algae reactor from the link provided by kelseymh then option 1 is probably the only way to go. On a laboratory level option 2 would be the more productive though.

I just thought of another possibility:

If you burn biomass in oxygen poor environment you can produce Syngas (a mixture of CO, CO2, H2 and H2O) from which you can get H2 (by membrane filtering or PSA) or you can use the syngas to produce methanol which is often seen as an excellent Hydrogen carrier.


Best Answer 6 years ago


I don't think you have too much of an idea what your talking about, but you won't get the industrially-valuable answer that you hope for.