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Hydrogen production through biocatalyzed electrolysis

  • Rozendal, R.A.
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2007
Wageningen University and Researchcenter Publications
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cum laude graduation (with distinction) To replace fossil fuels, society is currently considering alternative clean fuels for transportation. Hydrogen could be such a fuel. In theory, large amounts of renewable hydrogen can be produced from organic contaminants in wastewater. During his PhD research René Rozendal has developed a new technology for this purpose: biocatalyzed electrolysis. The innovative step of biocatalyzed electrolysis is the application of electrochemically active microorganisms in combination with small input of electrical energy. Electrochemically active microorganisms are a special group of microorganisms that are able to use an electrode as electron acceptor for the oxidation of organic material. Biocatalyzed electrolysis couples this “bio-electrode” to a hydrogen generating electrode by means of a power supply. Consequently, organic contaminants in wastewater can be oxidized (i.e. the wastewater is treated), while at the same time hydrogen is generated as a valuable product. In this way biocatalyzed electrolysis can significantly increase the hydrogen yield from wastewaters compared to other technologies. Furthermore, the innovative design makes a much wider variety of wastewaters than before suitable for hydrogen production. This makes biocatalyzed electrolysis a breakthrough technology for hydrogen production from wastewaters

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