A research group based in the Biodesign Institute of Arizona State University, US, has explored the future potential of biological hydrogen production using microorganisms. Three possible approaches to biological hydrogen production were considered: photosynthesis, fermentation, and the microbial electrolysis cell (MEC). Biological hydrogen can also be produced by bacteria via dark fermentation of organic materials such as biomass, cellulose, and other organic industrial wastes. While fermentation has a significantly higher production rate than other methods, is simple to set up, and has low energy requirements. MECs is an innovative technology that combines bacterial metabolism with electrochemistry for biological hydrogen. Bacteria are attached to an anode in an electrolytic cell, where it oxidizes organic materials. The reaction produces electrons that in turn react with water to produce hydrogen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2-3
Number of pages2
JournalIndustrial Bioprocessing
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology


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