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Bioinformatics Approach for identification of hypothetical ORF in Bacterial genome & hydrogen production pathways

-- Sponsored by DIT, Ministry of Information and Telecommunications, Government of India.

The objective of the project is to improve the productivity and processivity of microbial hydrogen production by using various bioinformatics tools and databases. Hydrogen is a sustainable energy supply, which will reduce and conceivably even eliminate hydrocarbon use. Hydrogen can be produced by many methods and in this proposal efficient microbial biohydrogen production possibility through bioinformatics approach will be attempted. The hydrogen production currently has the following limitations:

  • Biological production of hydrogen is not thermodynamically efficient. From one mole of glucose only two moles of hydrogen is currently produced. It should be doubled to make the process as an economically viable one.
  • During fermentation, the microbe produces organic acids such as acetic, succinic, butyric acids, etc which makes the process inefficient.
  • In addition to organic acids, fermentative production of hydrogen is also accompanied by carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas whose presence decreases the quality of the produced hydrogen.
  • Only a few organisms can grow on industrial wastes for hydrogen production.
  • Photobiological processes are costlier.

To overcome this problem, we aim in this proposal to determine the underlying causes for the above limitations, as well as propose solutions to overcome these limitations. The approach will focus on a thorough study of the hydrogen-producing microbes in terms of their genomics, proteomics and metabolomics. It may be noted that, for many hydrogen producers, the entire sequence as well as other information (such as pathways) are already available in databases. Briefly, this proposal aims to overcome the above technological limitations for producing hydrogen efficiently from industrial wastes by achieving the following:

  • Thermodynamically efficient system for hydrogen production
  • Less carbon or zero carbon in the produced gas
  • Decrease of pollution load

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