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Thread: Green Algae

  1. #1 Green Algae 
    Forum Masters Degree SuperNatendo's Avatar
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    I saw a very interesting website on one of the respiratory processes of green algae

    http://www.green-trust.org/2000/algaehydrogen.htm

    I was wondering if this process also occurs in other plants? Or is green algae the only one?


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  3. #2  
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    Wikipedia discusses this and the process has clearly been most closely studied in algae:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biologi...gen_production

    ...partly because it is relatively easy to grow algae in a bioreactor. It appears there is some amount of manipulation of growth conditions required, which would be easy to control in a bioreactor, and plants, being the rooted organ-containing (xylem, phloem) beings that they are, would have a hard time of it trying to get by in a bioreactor.

    The essential enzyme for hydrogen production is hydrogenase. The following link indicates that only green algae have the required pathway for hydrogen production, but given the surprises that regularly come along in biology, there may be exceptions waiting to be found.

    Green algae are the only known eukaryotes with both oxygenic photosynthesis and a hydrogen metabolism.


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    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    Typically the higher plants are restricted to utilizing H20 as the electron donor for photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is inhibited by oxygen, which is unfortunately the product of normal photosynthesis in plants. Vascular plants have the advantage of stomata and segregation of processes. Unfortunately algae don't have the ability to seperate themselves from the extracellular oxygen and have evolved methods to get around inhibitory oxygen, which is producing hydrogen as a by product.

    How they do this is that their hydrogenase is capable of accepting electrons from molecules other than water.

    http://www.plantphysiol.org/cgi/content/full/127/3/740

    This article goes into it in detail.
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    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    Good stuff guys!
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Forum Professor Zwolver's Avatar
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    I heard that its not the hydrogen that they are after. It's the oil they can produce. Or the slime, or whatever they call it. It burns.

    Also dried algae are a good fuel, like coals. I think hydrogen can better be produced by waterplants, the ones that create the hydrogenbubbles to float. If we manipulate thos to grow larger bubbles, we could harvest about a liter of hydrogen per plant.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

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    Forum Masters Degree SuperNatendo's Avatar
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    read the links in my OP, you'll see it is the hydrogen gas they are after.

    Interesting about the water plants though, I have to look into that!

    What gets me, is that they are saying huge algae-hydrogen farms need to be built to supply America with all the energy they will need, but I see this as a viable way to give individuals the energy independence they need to power their own house, their own car, etc... No matter where they live in the world.

    Doubt that will ever happen though because people will complain that it will destroy the economy and remove jobs.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Professor Zwolver's Avatar
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    Hmm, maybe we should introduce it to the economic section of this science forum.. Haha, but i think it would not remove jobs. The algae pools need repairs, tools, pumps. People will have to repair that. Plus, people will have more to say about what they do, and feel les dependent, so they are happy, and spend more.

    In the netherlands i heard about a project with drying the algae and then use it to propell boats and power plants. But i am not sure how far that progress is yet.

    Anyway, who is responsible for the slowing of the algae projects? The goverment?
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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