Fermentative hydrogen production from mixed and pure microalgae biomass: Key challenges and possible opportunities

Sutha Shobana, Ganesh D. Saratale, Arivalagan Pugazhendhi, Sundaram Arvindnarayan, Sivagurunathan Periyasamy, Gopalakrishnan Kumar, Sang Hyoun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Dark bioH2 fermentation from microalgae is a propitious technology to reduce the global CO2 emission and environmental pollution problems. This review provides the wide varieties of microalgal biomass available in the environment and also analyses the relevant studies focused on the microalgal biomass to bioH2 fermentation pathway. In this review, major enzymes and metabolic pathways involved in the dark fermentative hydrogen production has been reported. Major enzymes involved in the process are hydrogenases (Fe–Fe and Ni–Fe), besides, their thermo-tolerance and other aspects have been discussed. Metabolic and mechanistic pathway like acetate, butyrate (hydrogen accelerating reactions) and propionate (hydrogen consuming reactions) were highlighted. Recently microalgal biofuels along with bio refinery approach has been put forth as propitious technology for the future to solve the looming energy crisis. Major drawback in the extraction of sugars and other organic constituents from the microalgal cells are limiting their applications in various fields including bioenergy. A wide range of pretreatment methods has been applied so far and every treatment has their unique features. This report analyzes a comparative assessment of the pretreatment technologies and provides the key insights.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26440-26453
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number42
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct 19

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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