2011 Volume 44 Issue 1 Pages 37-43
The production of molecular hydrogen (H2) from water by hydrogenase of thermophilic cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. strain H-1 has been studied by following the time courses of the hydrogen concentration in the gas-phase, cell mass concentration and cellular content of D-glucose in dark batch reactions at temperatures ranging from 313 to 333 K. An anaerobic, dark, NO3− starvation, neutral or alkaline pH and shaking condition was found to be a prerequisite for H2 production. Strain H-1 could multiply and produce hydrogen at all temperatures studied. A linear relation between hydrogen production and glucose consumption was observed and the yield coefficient of hydrogen in terms of D-glucose consumption was 71, 115 and 146 at initial concentrations of cell mass of 0.75, 2.5 and 9.5 g · L−1, respectively. The activation energies for the maximum specific rates of cell mass growth, D-glucose consumption and hydrogen production were found to be 62, 12.6 and 122 kJ · mol−1, respectively. The maximum specific hydrogen production rate was found to be 0.09 μmol · mg-chl a−1 · h−1 at 328 K, which is comparable to that reported in non-nitrogen-fixing unicellular cyanobacteria. It is concluded that utilization of thermophilic Synechococcus sp. strain H-1 for hydrogen production is beneficial since the contamination risk of mesophilic bacteria is low.