Report Tackles Biological Hydrogen Production

October 23, 2003 [] The results of a two-day workshop on hydrogen production through biological and artificial systems now is available. The workshop, sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and hosted jointly by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), included key scientists from the Air Force, NREL, DOE, other national labs, academia, industry, and other federal agencies. The primary objective of the workshop was to define the future role of biotechnology, biomimetic chemistry and artificial photosynthesis in the development of innovative hydrogen-production technologies. The researchers contend that a better understanding of the organisms and biological processes that produce hydrogen naturally could lead to sustainable methods of producing hydrogen from sunlight and water. These might include entirely artificial processes that mimic biology. The workshop participants also identified important scientific challenges and a set of short and long-term goals for research relating to the production of hydrogen.