Recent insights into biohydrogen production by microalgae – From biophotolysis to dark fermentation

Dillirani Nagarajan, Duu Jong Lee, Akihiko Kondo, Jo Shu Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

232 Citations (Scopus)


One of the best options to alleviate the problems associated with global warming and climate change is to reduce burning of fossil fuels and search for new alternative energy resources. In case of biodiesel and bioethanol production, the choice of feedstock and the process design influences the GHG emissions and appropriate methods need to be adapted. Hydrogen is a zero-carbon and energy dense alternative energy carrier with clean burning properties and biohydrogen production by microalgae can reduce production associated GHG emissions to a great extent. Biohydrogen can be produced through dark fermentation using sugars, starch, or cellulosic materials. Microalgae-based biohydrogen production is recently regarded as a promising pathway for biohydrogen production via photolysis or being a substrate for anaerobic fermentation. This review lists the methods of hydrogen production by microalgae. The enzymes involved and the factors affecting the biohydrogen production process are discussed. The bottlenecks in microalgae-based biohydrogen production are critically reviewed and future research areas in hydrogen production are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-387
Number of pages15
JournalBioresource technology
Publication statusPublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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