Patent Landscape for Biological Hydrogen Production
David B. Levin and Simona Lubieniechi
Affiliation: Department of Biosystems Engineering, E2-376 EITC, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, R3T 5V6.
Keywords: Biological hydrogen, Biohydrogen, Dark fermentation, Hydrogen production and biomass, Hydrogen production
and dark fermentation, Photo-biological hydrogen.
Research and development of biological hydrogen production have expanded significantly in the past decade.
Production of renewable hydrogen from agricultural, forestry, or other organic waste streams offers the possibility to contribute
to hydrogen production capacity with no net, or at least with lower, greenhouse gas emissions. Significant improvements
in the volumetric or molar yields of hydrogen production have been accomplished through genetic engineering
of hydrogen synthesizing microorganisms. Although no commercial scale renewable biohydrogen production facilities
are currently in operation, a few pilot scale systems have been demonstrated successfully, and while industrial scale production
of biohydrogen still faces a number of technical and economic barriers, understanding the patent landscape is an
important step in developing a viable commercialization strategy. In this paper, we review patents filed on biological hydrogen
production. Patents on biohydrogen production from both the Canadian and American Patents databases were
classified into three main groups: 1) patents for biological hydrogen by direct photolysis; 2) patents for biological hydrogen
by dark fermentation; and 3) patents for process engineering for biological hydrogen production.
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