Project leader: Prof. Dr. Harmut Grammel


  • Andreas Witt,
  • Beryl Cancro

Financing: Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie

Program: 7. Energieforschungsprogramm "Innovationen für die Energiewende"-Förderbereich 3.7 "Energetische Nutzung biogener Rest- und Abfallstoffe

Duration: 01.01.2020 – 31.12.2022


  • Institut für Biomaterialien und biomolekulare Systeme (IBBS), Abt. Bioenergetik, Universität Stuttgart
  • Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionstechnik und Automatisierung IPA, Stuttgart
  • KE-Technologie GmbH, Stuttgart
Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz

Project description

The project should demonstrate the potential of the purple bacterium Rhodospirillum rubrum for large-scale hydrogen production using fruit- and milk-wastes as substrates. This novel process ("dark photosynthesis") does not require light, is cheap to run, and readily up-scalable. Parallel to hydrogen production, the "dark photosynthetic" metabolic regime can be utilized for the simultaneous production of high-value industrial products, e.g. terpenoids. The "dark photosynthesis" process still allows the possible use of a low energy illumination for further enhancement of hydrogen production efficiency. It is intended that the project should be an important contributor to a future hydrogen economy and also circular bioeconomy in Germany. The future market potential of the "dark photosynthetic" process will be analyzed by a systematic study of the integration of the process into various energy sector scenarios.

More information about RhoTech


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