High cell density culture of Anabaena variabilis using repeated injections of carbon dioxide for the production of hydrogen

Jong Hyun Yoon, Sang Jun Sim, Mi Sun Kim, Tai Hyun Park

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Cyanobacteria have the unique characteristic of using CO2 in the air as a carbon source and solar energy as an energy source. Reducing equivalents from the fermentation of carbohydrates are used as the primary electron donors in cyanobacteria for the hydrogen producing enzymes. The cells take up CO2 first to produce cellular substances, which are subsequently used for H2 production. Since the optimal operating conditions for the CO2 uptake and H2 production are different, a two-stage system can be effectively employed to separate these two phases. In this study, for the efficient production of H2 in the second stage, the conditions for the effective CO2 uptake and cell growth in the first stage were characterized, and high cell density culture was carried out using repeated injections of CO2. The specific growth rate and growth yield based on CO2 decreased with an increase in light intensity or CO2 concentration. However, the effect of CO2 concentration on the growth yield was much smaller than that of a light intensity. A CO2 uptake rate per unit cell decreased linearly with the initial CO2 concentration in the gas phase. With repeated injections of CO2, the CO2 was continuously consumed and the cell concentration reached 3.7 g dry cell/l in 20 days, which is 6.7 times higher than that in a batch culture without further supply of CO2. The CO2 injection in the cell growth phase increased not only the cell concentration but also the hydrogen production per gram cell.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1265-1270
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number11-12
StatePublished - Nov 2002
EventBiohydrogen 2002 (BIO-H2) - Ede, Netherlands
Duration: 21 Apr 200221 Apr 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors wish to acknowledge the financial support of the Korean Ministry of Science and Technology for the Advanced Hydrogen Production R&D Project of the National Strategic R&D Program.


  • Cyanobacteria
  • High cell density culture
  • Hydrogen production
  • Repeated injections of CO


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