Team:NU Kazakhstan

We can make energy

Cleaner. Safer. Cheaper.


Our project is focused on production of Hydrogen gas using transformed cyanobacteria Synechococcus Elongatus PCC 7942. We have envisioned a new Photosynthetic Electron Transport Chain in the Cyanobacterium. In which the electron flow begins with a heterologous Sulfide Quinone Reductase (SQR) flowing through to Hydrogenase, producing hydrogen gas, passing through Photosystem I. Because our Cyanobacteria lack Photosystem II, we have replaced its proton pumping action with a heterologously-expressed Rhodopsin with its own antennae made up of Carbon Quantum Dots. Ultimately all biomass will be converted into graphitic catalytic material that can be used as a substitute for platinum catalyst in Proton Exchange Membrane in hydrogen fuel cell.


Step one

Fluorescent carbon quantum dots that can be obtained from the biomass of algae have the same emission peak as the PS I and Rhodopsin, which will allow for more efficient energy transfer to it.


Step two

Last year our team had been able to implement SQR gene into cyanobacteria, which allowed them to survive in the high sulfur environment, oxidize the sulfur ions to elemental sulfur and substitution for the inactivated PS II


Step three

The step that ties all together. Cyanobacteria transformed with SQR and Hydrogenase genes, covered with carbon quantum dots in bioreactor will allow for the high yields of hydrogen and sulfide reduction


Step four

Biomass left from the reactor then can be heat treated for the high catalytic activity graphitic nanomaterial which can replace platinum in fuel cells.

Quick About: SCHOOL OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, Nazarbayev University, Astana, Kazakhstan
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