RAMOT at Tel Aviv University Ltd.

Harvesting Solar Energy: Hydrogen production by a semi-artificial photo-system

Posted by RAMOT at Tel Aviv University Ltd.Responsive · Innovative Products and Technologies · Israel

Summary of the technology

Harvesting Solar Energy: Hydrogen production by a semi-artificial photo-system
Project ID : 6-2008-56

The Technology

An artificial ferredoxin-hydrogenase fusion enzyme (Fd-HydA) has been developed for the production of hydrogen gas in algae. The Fd-HydA fusion enzyme interferes with the formation of the naturally occurring ferredoxin-sugar production pathway in photosystem I (PSI) complex and shuttles the donated electrons directly to the hydrogenase as shown in in vitro studies. Preliminary expression of Fd-HydA in algae supports hydrogen production.

Stage of Development

  • Fd-HydA fusion enzyme has been constructed and expressed in E. coli and evidence of electron transfer has been demonstrated in vitro
  • Fd-HydA fusion protein increases rate of hydrogen photoproduction by 400% in vitro
  • Fd-HydA fusion protein has specific activities of 3000 U (U = 1 µmol hydrogen mg−1 min−1) for hydrogen evolution from reduced methyl viologen (MV).
  • Fd-HydA fusion enzyme is expressed and active in alga (preliminary work).

These results suggest a new direction for improvement of biohydrogen production and a means to further resolve the mechanisms that control partitioning of photosynthetic electron transport.

Patent Status

WO2010/137019 (US, EP)

WO 2009/013745 (US)

Project manager

Elisha Natan
Director BD

Project researchers

Itai Benhar
T.A.U Tel Aviv University, Life Sciences
Molecular Microbiology-Biotechnology

Iftach Yacoby
T.A.U Tel Aviv University, Life Sciences
Molecular Microbiology-Biotechnology

Ehud Gazit
T.A.U Tel Aviv University, Life Sciences
Molecular Microbiology-Biotechnology

Nathan Nelson
T.A.U Tel Aviv University, Life Sciences
The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Related keywords

  • Safety
  • Environment
  • Water Management
  • Oil and Gas Exploration and Production
  • Alternative Energy
  • Power generation
  • Energy Storage
  • Chemicals and Materials
  • Pollution and Recycling Related
  • Environmental and Cleantech
  • Environmental and Cleantech
  • renewable energy
  • cleantech

About RAMOT at Tel Aviv University Ltd.

Technology Transfer Office from Israel

Ramot is Tel Aviv University's (TAU) technology transfer company and its liaison to industry, bringing promising scientific discoveries made at

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