WorldWideScience

Sample records for biophotolysis

  1. Biophotolysis, hydrogen, production and algal culture technology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Skulberg, O.M. [Norwegian Inst. for Water Research, Oslo (Norway)

    1995-12-31

    In this essay the importance and place of biophotolysis in the hydrogen energy system is described. The biophotolysis of water is achieved by two biochemical processes carried out by the activity of chlorophyll containing reaction centres coupled to hydrogenase and nitrogenase. Micro algae belonging to the classes Chlorophyceae and Cyanophyceae can produce molecular hydrogen by the decomposition of water using solar energy. Among Anoxyphotobactelia organisms of the families Chrorna iaceae and Chlorobiaceae are also used for the bioengineering development of biophotolysis. A review is presented of the organisms and the processes involved in the context of their applications for algal culture technology. 2 tabs., 52 refs.

  2. Hydrogen generation through indirect biophotolysis in batch cultures of the nonheterocystous nitrogen-fixing cyanobacterium Plectonema boryanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huesemann, Michael H; Hausmann, Tom S; Carter, Blaine M; Gerschler, Jared J; Benemann, John R

    2010-09-01

    The nitrogen-fixing nonheterocystous cyanobacterium Plectonema boryanum was used as a model organism to study hydrogen generation by indirect biophotolysis in nitrogen-limited batch cultures that were continuously illuminated and sparged with argon/CO(2) to maintain anaerobiosis. The highest hydrogen-production rate (i.e., 0.18 mL/mg day or 7.3 micromol/mg day) was observed in cultures with an initial medium nitrate concentration of 1 mM at a light intensity of 100 micromol/m(2) s. The addition of photosystem II (PSII) inhibitor 3-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-1,1-dimethylurea (DCMU) did not reduce hydrogen-production rates relative to unchallenged controls for 50 to 150 h, and intracellular glycogen concentrations decreased significantly during the hydrogen generation period. The insensitivity of the hydrogen-production process to DCMU is indicative of the fact that hydrogen was not derived from water splitting at PSII (i.e., direct biophotolysis) but rather from electrons provided by intracellular glycogen reserves (i.e., indirect biophotolysis). It was shown that hydrogen generation could be sustained for long time periods by subjecting the cultures to alternating cycles of aerobic, nitrogen-limited growth and anaerobic hydrogen production.

  3. Process analysis and economics of biophotolysis of water. IEA technical report from the IEA Agreement on the Production and Utilization of Hydrogen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Benemann, J.R.

    1998-03-31

    This report is a preliminary cost analysis of the biophotolysis of water and was prepared as part of the work of Annex 10 of the IEA Hydrogen agreement. Biophotolysis is the conversion of water and solar energy to hydrogen and oxygen using microalgae. In laboratory experiments at low light intensities, algal photosynthesis and some biophotolysis reactions exhibit highlight conversion efficiencies that could be extrapolated to about 10% solar efficiencies if photosynthesis were to saturate at full sunlight intensities. The most promising approach to achieving the critical goal of high conversion efficiencies at full sunlight intensities, one that appears within the capabilities of modern biotechnology, is to genetically control the pigment content of algal cells such that the photosynthetic apparatus does not capture more photons than it can utilize. A two-stage indirect biophotolysis system was conceptualized and general design parameters extrapolated. The process comprises open ponds for the CO{sub 2}fixation stage, an algal concentration step, a dark adaptation and fermentation stage, and a closed tubular photobioreactor in which hydrogen production would take place. A preliminary cost analysis for a 200 hectare (ha) system, including 140 ha of open algal ponds and 14 ha of photobioreactors was carried out. The cost analysis was based on prior studies for algal mass cultures for fuels production and a conceptual analysis of a hypothetical photochemical processes, as well as the assumption that the photobioreactors would cost about $100/m(sup 2). Assuming a very favorable location, with 21 megajoules (MJ)/m{sup 2} total insolation, and a solar conversion efficiency of 10% based on CO{sub 2} fixation in the large algal ponds, an overall cost of $10/gigajoule (GJ) is projected. Of this, almost half is due to the photobioreactors, one fourth to the open pond system, and the remainder to the H{sub 2} handling and general support systems. It must be cautioned that

  4. Engineering Microorganisms for Energy Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-06-01

    5M0 600 700 Wavelength (nrm) Figure 8: Absorption spectrum of photosynthetic pigment proteins ( Lodish et. al.). 36 On the other hand, recall from the...Pietro. An inquiry into biophotolysis of water to produce hydrogen. NSF RANN report under grant GI 4 0253 to Indiana University, 1975. 88 [22] H. Lodish

  5. Biohydrogen production and bioprocess enhancement: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mudhoo, Ackmez; Forster-Carneiro, Tânia; Sánchez, Antoni

    2011-09-01

    This paper provides an overview of the recent advances and trends in research in the biological production of hydrogen (biohydrogen). Hydrogen from both fossil and renewable biomass resources is a sustainable source of energy that is not limited and of different applications. The most commonly used techniques of biohydrogen production, including direct biophotolysis, indirect biophotolysis, photo-fermentation and dark-fermentation, conventional or "modern" techniques are examined in this review. The main limitations inherent to biochemical reactions for hydrogen production and design are the constraints in reactor configuration which influence biohydrogen production, and these have been identified. Thereafter, physical pretreatments, modifications in the design of reactors, and biochemical and genetic manipulation techniques that are being developed to enhance the overall rates and yields of biohydrogen generation are revisited.

  6. Challenges in developing biohydrogen as a sustainable energy source: implications for a research agenda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brentner, Laura B; Peccia, Jordan; Zimmerman, Julie B

    2010-04-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy's Hydrogen Program aims to develop hydrogen as an energy carrier to decrease emissions of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants and reduce the use of fossil fuels. However, current hydrogen production technologies are not sustainable as they rely heavily on fossil fuels, either directly or indirectly through electricity generation. Production of hydrogen by microorganisms, biohydrogen, has potential as a renewable alternative to current technologies. The state-of-the-art for four different biohydrogen production mechanisms is reviewed, including biophotolysis, indirect biophotolysis, photofermentation, and dark fermentation. Future research challenges are outlined for bioreactor design, optimization of bioreactor conditions, and metabolic engineering. Development of biohydrogen technologies is still in the early stages, although some fermentation systems have demonstrated efficiencies reasonable for implementation. To enhance the likelihood of biohydrogen as a feasible system to meet future hydrogen demands sustainably, directed investment in a strategic research agenda will be necessary.

  7. Alternative energy sources II; Proceedings of the Second Miami International Conference, Miami Beach, Fla., December 10-13, 1979. Volume 8 - Hydrogen energy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veziroglu, T. N.

    The book discusses the topics of electrolytic hydrogen production, thermochemical hydrogen production, solar hydrogen production, metal hydrides, and hydrogen utilization. Several papers are presented on the development status of the steam-iron process for hydrogen production, the production of hydrogen from carbonaceous materials, biophotolysis systems for hydrogen production, and heat transfer enhancement in metal hydride systems. Fixed site hydrogen storage is examined with a view to the applications impact, and a comparison of technologies and economics.

  8. Renewable hydrogen production for fossil fuel processing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Greenbaum, E.; Lee, J.W.; Tevault, C.V. [and others

    1995-06-01

    In the fundamental biological process of photosynthesis, atmospheric carbon dioxide is reduced to carbohydrate using water as the source of electrons with simultaneous evolution of molecular oxygen: H{sub 2}O + CO{sub 2} + light {yields} O{sub 2} + (CH{sub 2}O). It is well established that two light reactions, Photosystems I and II (PSI and PSII) working in series, are required to perform oxygenic photosynthesis. Experimental data supporting the two-light reaction model are based on the quantum requirement for complete photosynthesis, spectroscopy, and direct biochemical analysis. Some algae also have the capability to evolve molecular hydrogen in a reaction energized by the light reactions of photosynthesis. This process, now known as biophotolysis, can use water as the electron donor and lead to simultaneous evolution of molecular hydrogen and oxygen. In green algae, hydrogen evolution requires prior incubation under anaerobic conditions. Atmospheric oxygen inhibits hydrogen evolution and also represses the synthesis of hydrogenase enzyme. CO{sub 2} fixation competes with proton reduction for electrons relased from the photosystems. Interest in biophotolysis arises from both the questions that it raises concerning photosynthesis and its potential practical application as a process for converting solar energy to a non-carbon-based fuel. Prior data supported the requirement for both Photosystem I and Photosystem II in spanning the energy gap necessary for biophotolysis of water to oxygen and hydrogen. In this paper we report the at PSII alone is capable of driving sustained simultaneous photoevolution of molecular hydrogen and oxygen in an anaerobically adapted PSI-deficient strain of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, mutant B4, and that CO{sub 2} competes as an electron acceptor.

  9. Future production of hydrogen from solar energy and water - A summary and assessment of U.S. developments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanson, J. A.; Escher, W. J. D.

    1979-01-01

    The paper examines technologies of hydrogen production. Its delivery, distribution, and end-use systems are reviewed, and a classification of solar energy and hydrogen production methods is suggested. The operation of photoelectric processes, biophotolysis, photocatalysis, photoelectrolysis, and of photovoltaic systems are reviewed, with comments on their possible hydrogen production potential. It is concluded that solar hydrogen derived from wind energy, photovoltaic technology, solar thermal electric technology, and hydropower could supply some of the hydrogen for air transport by the middle of the next century.

  10. Recent developments on biofuels production from microalgae and macroalgae

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kumar, Kanhaiya; Ghosh, Supratim; Angelidaki, Irini

    2016-01-01

    energetically and commercially viable. Macroalgae are low in lipid content. Therefore, the use of macroalgae is restricted for gaseous fuels or fermentative methods of liquid biofuels production. Anaerobic digestion of algal biomass is easy and seems promising as the process is simple in terms of engineering...... and infrastructure requirement. Hydrogen production by microalgae through biophotolysis seems interesting as it directly converts the solar energy into hydrogen. However, the process has not been scaled-up till today. Hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) is more promising due to handling of wet biomass at moderate...... temperature and pressure and conversion of whole biomass into high quality oil. However, HTL process is energy intensive....

  11. Biohydrogen Production from Lignocellulosic Biomass: Technology and Sustainability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anoop Singh

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Among the various renewable energy sources, biohydrogen is gaining a lot of traction as it has very high efficiency of conversion to usable power with less pollutant generation. The various technologies available for the production of biohydrogen from lignocellulosic biomass such as direct biophotolysis, indirect biophotolysis, photo, and dark fermentations have some drawbacks (e.g., low yield and slower production rate, etc., which limits their practical application. Among these, metabolic engineering is presently the most promising for the production of biohydrogen as it overcomes most of the limitations in other technologies. Microbial electrolysis is another recent technology that is progressing very rapidly. However, it is the dark fermentation approach, followed by photo fermentation, which seem closer to commercialization. Biohydrogen production from lignocellulosic biomass is particularly suitable for relatively small and decentralized systems and it can be considered as an important sustainable and renewable energy source. The comprehensive life cycle assessment (LCA of biohydrogen production from lignocellulosic biomass and its comparison with other biofuels can be a tool for policy decisions. In this paper, we discuss the various possible approaches for producing biohydrogen from lignocellulosic biomass which is an globally available abundant resource. The main technological challenges are discussed in detail, followed by potential solutions.

  12. Investigating the link between fermentative metabolism and hydrogen production in the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burgess, S.J.; Nixon, P.J. [Imperial College London (United Kingdom)

    2010-07-01

    In the model green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, the electrons required for hydrogen production can come from both the biophotolysis of water and from the fermentation of carbohydrate reserves. Anoxia leads to the activation of several fermentative pathways, which produce a number of end products including formic, malic and acetic acid along with ethanol, carbon dioxide and hydrogen. It has been proposed that by switching off competing fermentative pathways hydrogen production can be increased. Therefore the aim of this study was to devise an experimental strategy to down-regulate the expression of enzymes thought to control C. reinhardtii's fermentative metabolism. We demonstrate here that it is possible to use artificial microRNA (amiRNA) technology to generate knock-down mutants with reduced expression of pyruvate formate lyase (PFL1), a key fermentative enzyme in C. reinhardtii. This work opens up new possibilities to improve hydrogen yields through metabolic engineering. (orig.)

  13. India's hydrogen energy program - a status report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sastri, M.V.C. (Madras Univ. (IN). Dept. of Energy)

    1989-01-01

    Hydrogen energy research in India started in 1976 on the initiative of the Government of India and covers almost all areas of technical relevance to the deployment of hydrogen as an energy vector. Specifically, these include its production from water by electrolysis, photoelectrolysis, photo-catalysis and biophotolysis, its storage as liquid hydrogen and metal hydrides, its consumptive use as engine fuel and thermal fuel and nonconsumptive application in metal hydrides-based chemical heat pumps. All this research is sponsored and supported by the Government of India. The genesis of hydrogen energy research in India and its growth during the first 10 years have already been reviewed at the VI-WHEC (Vienna, 1986). The present review is an update of the previous report. (author).

  14. A new perspective on hydrogen production by photosynthetic water-splitting

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, J.W.; Greenbaum, E.

    1996-05-01

    Present energy systems are heavily dependent on fossil fuels. This will eventually lead to the foreseeable depletion of fossil energy resources and, according to some reports, global climate changes due to the emission of carbon dioxide. In principle, hydrogen production by biophotolysis of water can be an ideal solar energy conversion system for sustainable development of human activities in harmony with the global environment. In photosynthetic hydrogen production research, there are currently two main efforts: (1) Direct photoevolution of hydrogen and oxygen by photosynthetic water splitting using the ferredoxin/hydrogenase pathway; (2) Dark hydrogen production by fermentation of organic reserves such as starch that are generated by photosynthesis during the light period. In this chapter, the advantages and challenges of the two approaches for hydrogen production will be discussed, in relation to a new opportunity brought by our recent discovery of a new photosynthetic water-splitting reaction which, potentially, has twice the energy efficiency of conventional watersplitting via the two light reaction Z-scheme of photosynthesis.

  15. Advances in the biotechnology of hydrogen production with the microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torzillo, Giuseppe; Scoma, Alberto; Faraloni, Cecilia; Giannelli, Luca

    2015-01-01

    Biological hydrogen production is being evaluated for use as a fuel, since it is a promising substitute for carbonaceous fuels owing to its high conversion efficiency and high specific energy content. The basic advantages of biological hydrogen production over other "green" energy sources are that it does not compete for agricultural land use, and it does not pollute, as water is the only by-product of the combustion. These characteristics make hydrogen a suitable fuel for the future. Among several biotechnological approaches, photobiological hydrogen production carried out by green microalgae has been intensively investigated in recent years. A select group of photosynthetic organisms has evolved the ability to harness light energy to drive hydrogen gas production from water. Of these, the microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is considered one of the most promising eukaryotic H2 producers. In this model microorganism, light energy, H2O and H2 are linked by two excellent catalysts, the photosystem 2 (PSII) and the [FeFe]-hydrogenase, in a pathway usually referred to as direct biophotolysis. This review summarizes the main advances made over the past decade as an outcome of the discovery of the sulfur-deprivation process. Both the scientific and technical barriers that need to be overcome before H2 photoproduction can be scaled up to an industrial level are examined. Actual and theoretical limits of the efficiency of the process are also discussed. Particular emphasis is placed on algal biohydrogen production outdoors, and guidelines for an optimal photobioreactor design are suggested.

  16. Recent trends on the development of photobiological processes and photobioreactors for the improvement of hydrogen production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dasgupta, Chitralekha Nag; Jose Gilbert, J.; Das, Debabrata [Department of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur 721302 (India); Lindblad, Peter; Heidorn, Thorsten [Department of Photochemistry and Molecular Science, Uppsala University (Sweden); Borgvang, Stig A.; Skjanes, Kari [Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research (Bioforsk), Oslo (Norway)

    2010-10-15

    Hydrogen production through biological routes is promising because they are environmentally friendly. Hydrogen production through biophotolysis or photofermentation is usually a two stage process. In the first stage CO{sub 2} is utilized for biomass production which is followed by hydrogen production in the second stage in anaerobic/sulfur-deprived conditions. In addition, one-stage photobiological hydrogen production process can be achieved using selected cyanobacterial strains. The major challenges confronting the large scale production of biomass/hydrogen are limited not only on the performance of the photobioreactors in which light penetration in dense cultures is a major bottleneck but also on the characteristics of the organisms. Other dependable factors include area/volume (A/V) ratio, mode of agitation, temperature and gas exchange. Photobioreactors of different geometries are reported for biohydrogen production: Tubular, Flat plate, Fermentor type etc. Every reactor has its own advantages and disadvantages. Airlift, helical tubular and flat plate reactors are found most suitable with respect to biomass production. These bioreactors may be employed for hydrogen production with necessary modifications to overcome the existing bottlenecks like gas hold up, oxygen toxicity and poor agitation. This review article attempts to focus on existing photobioreactors with respect to biomass generation and hydrogen production and the steps taken to improve its performance through engineering innovation that definitely help in the future design and construction of photobioreactors. (author)

  17. Maximum hydrogen production from genetically modified microalgae biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vargas, Jose; Kava, Vanessa; Ordonez, Juan

    A transient mathematical model for managing microalgae derived H2 production as a source of renewable energy is developed for a well stirred photobioreactor, PBR. The model allows for the determination of microalgae and H2 mass fractions produced by the PBR in time. A Michaelis-Menten expression is proposed for modeling the rate of H2 production, which introduces an expression to calculate the resulting effect on H2 production rate after genetically modifying the microalgae. The indirect biophotolysis process was used. Therefore, an opportunity was found to optimize the aerobic to anaerobic stages time ratio of the cycle for maximum H2 production rate, i.e., the process rhythm. A system thermodynamic optimization is conducted with the model equations to find accurately the optimal system operating rhythm for maximum H2 production rate, and how wild and genetically modified species compare to each other. The maxima found are sharp, showing up to a ~60% variation in hydrogen production rate within 2 days around the optimal rhythm, which highlights the importance of system operation in such condition. Therefore, the model is expected to be useful for design, control and optimization of H2 production. Brazilian National Council of Scientific and Technological Development, CNPq (project 482336/2012-9).

  18. A comprehensive and quantitative review of dark fermentative biohydrogen production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rittmann Simon

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Biohydrogen production (BHP can be achieved by direct or indirect biophotolysis, photo-fermentation and dark fermentation, whereof only the latter does not require the input of light energy. Our motivation to compile this review was to quantify and comprehensively report strains and process performance of dark fermentative BHP. This review summarizes the work done on pure and defined co-culture dark fermentative BHP since the year 1901. Qualitative growth characteristics and quantitative normalized results of H2 production for more than 2000 conditions are presented in a normalized and therefore comparable format to the scientific community. Statistically based evidence shows that thermophilic strains comprise high substrate conversion efficiency, but mesophilic strains achieve high volumetric productivity. Moreover, microbes of Thermoanaerobacterales (Family III have to be preferred when aiming to achieve high substrate conversion efficiency in comparison to the families Clostridiaceae and Enterobacteriaceae. The limited number of results available on dark fermentative BHP from fed-batch cultivations indicates the yet underestimated potential of this bioprocessing application. A Design of Experiments strategy should be preferred for efficient bioprocess development and optimization of BHP aiming at improving medium, cultivation conditions and revealing inhibitory effects. This will enable comparing and optimizing strains and processes independent of initial conditions and scale.

  19. Microsensor measurements of hydrogen gas dynamics in cyanobacterial microbial mats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nielsen, Michael; Revsbech, Niels P; Kühl, Michael

    2015-01-01

    We used a novel amperometric microsensor for measuring hydrogen gas production and consumption at high spatio-temporal resolution in cyanobacterial biofilms and mats dominated by non-heterocystous filamentous cyanobacteria (Microcoleus chtonoplastes and Oscillatoria sp.). The new microsensor is based on the use of an organic electrolyte and a stable internal reference system and can be equipped with a chemical sulfide trap in the measuring tip; it exhibits very stable and sulfide-insensitive measuring signals and a high sensitivity (1.5-5 pA per μmol L(-1) H2). Hydrogen gas measurements were done in combination with microsensor measurements of scalar irradiance, O2, pH, and H2S and showed a pronounced H2 accumulation (of up to 8-10% H2 saturation) within the upper mm of cyanobacterial mats after onset of darkness and O2 depletion. The peak concentration of H2 increased with the irradiance level prior to darkening. After an initial build-up over the first 1-2 h in darkness, H2 was depleted over several hours due to efflux to the overlaying water, and due to biogeochemical processes in the uppermost oxic layers and the anoxic layers of the mats. Depletion could be prevented by addition of molybdate pointing to sulfate reduction as a major sink for H2. Immediately after onset of illumination, a short burst of presumably photo-produced H2 due to direct biophotolysis was observed in the illuminated but anoxic mat layers. As soon as O2 from photosynthesis started to accumulate, the H2 was consumed rapidly and production ceased. Our data give detailed insights into the microscale distribution and dynamics of H2 in cyanobacterial biofilms and mats, and further support that cyanobacterial H2 production can play a significant role in fueling anaerobic processes like e.g., sulfate reduction or anoxygenic photosynthesis in microbial mats.

  20. Interaction and Synergism of Microbial Fuel Cell Bacteria within Methanogenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klaus, David

    2004-01-01

    Biological hydrogen production from waste biomass has both terrestrial and Martian advanced life support applications. On earth, biological hydrogen production is being explored as a greenhouse neutral form of clean and efficient energy. In a permanently enclosed space habitat, carbon loop closure is required to reduce mission costs. Plants are grown to revitalize oxygen supply and are consumed by habitat inhabitants. Unharvested portions must then be recycled for reuse in the habitat. Several biological degradation techniques exist, but one process, biophotolysis, can be used to produce hydrogen from inedible plant biomass. This process is two-stage, with one stage using dark fermentation to convert plant wastes into organic acids. The second stage, photofermentation, uses photoheterotrophic purple non-sulfur bacteria with the addition of light to turn the organic acids into hydrogen and carbon dioxide. Such a system can prove useful as a co-generation scheme, providing some of the energy needed to power a larger primary carbon recovery system, such as composting. Since butyrate is expected as one of the major inputs into photofermentation, a characterization study was conducted with the bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides SCJ, a novel photoheterotrophic non-sulfur purple bacteria, to examine hydrogen production performance at 10 mM-100 mM butyrate concentrations. As butyrate levels increased, hydrogen production increased up to 25 mM, and then decreased and ceased by 100 mM. Additionally, lag phase increased with butyrate concentration, possibly indicating some product inhibition. Maximal substrate conversion efficiency was 8.0%; maximal light efficiency was 0.89%; and maximal hydrogen production rate was 7.7 Umol/mg/cdw/hr (173 ul/mg cdw/hr). These values were either consistent or lower than expected from literature.

  1. Development of a combined bio-hydrogen- and methane-production unit using dark fermentation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brunstermann, R.; Widmann, R. [Duisburg-Essen Univ. (Germany). Dept. of Urban Water and Waste Management

    2010-07-01

    Hydrogen is regarded as a source of energy of the future. Currently, hydrogen is produced, predominantly, by electrolysis of water by using electricity or by stream reforming of natural gas. So both methods are based on fossil fuels. If the used electricity is recovered from renewable recourses, hydrogen produced by water electrolysis may be a clean solution. At present, the production of hydrogen by biological processes finds more and more attention world far. The biology provides a wide range of approaches to produce hydrogen, including bio-photolysis as well as photo-fermentation and dark-fermentation. Currently these biological technologies are not suitable for solving every day energy problems [1]. But the dark-fermentation is a promising approach to produce hydrogen in a sustainable way and was already examined in some projects. At mesophilic conditions this process provides a high yield of hydrogen by less energy demand, [2]. Short hydraulic retention times (HRT) and high metabolic rates are advantages of the process. The incomplete transformation of the organic components into various organic acids is a disadvantage. Thus a second process step is required. Therefore the well known biogas-technique is used to degrade the organic acids predominantly acetic and butyric acid from the hydrogen-production unit into CH{sub 4} and CO{sub 2}. This paper deals with the development of a combined hydrogen and methane production unit using dark fermentation at mesophilic conditions. The continuous operation of the combined hydrogen and methane production out of DOC loaded sewages and carbohydrate rich biowaste is necessary for the examination of the technical and economical implementation. The hydrogen step shows as first results hydrogen concentration in the biogas between 40 % and 60 %.The operating efficiency of the combined production of hydrogen and methane shall be checked as a complete system. (orig.)