Technical Proceedings of the 2008 Clean Technology Conference and Trade Show

Clean Technology 2008

Chapter 5: Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Technologies

H. Pryce Lewis
GVD Corporation, US
316 - 318
hydrogen, hydrogen production, microbe, assay, NREL, chemochromic, sensor, PTFE, photobiological, high-throughput screening
Microbe-based hydrogen production is a potentially cost-effective, non-polluting approach to the production of hydrogen. Research efforts are underway to identify, isolate, and enhance microbial strains which facilitate direct sunlight-to-hydrogen conversion. These efforts are hampered by a lack of adequate instruments to rapidly detect and pinpoint hydrogen producers. There is a need for assays which provide sufficient sensitivity, short response times, scalability, and compatibility with high-throughput methodologies to allow for rapid screening of microbe colonies. GVD Corporation is assisting the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in the development of a multilayer chemochromic sensor that will identify hydrogen producing microbes. GVD’s proprietary solvent-free polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) coatings allow H2 gas to reach the sensor’s catalyst layer but prevent atmospheric contaminants from doing so. PTFE-coated assay plates survive the warm, wet conditions of multi-month testing and are able to pinpoint hydrogen-producing organisms exactly as intended. Later improvements to the manufacturing process will allow the technology to be adapted to other sensor markets, most notably safety sensors for fuel cell applications
Protective Sensor Coatings for High-Throughput Screening of Hydrogen-Producing Microbes