Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

Final Report Summary - SOLAR BIO-HYDROGEN (Design of Hybrid Nanostructured Bio-photocatalyst for Their Application in Bio-photoelectrochemical Hydrogen Production)

Driven by the increasing demand for energy and rising atmospheric CO2 levels, there is a long-term necessity to design artificial photochemical (AP) systems to complement natural photosynthesis. Importantly, AP could work in areas having dense urban development or water shortage. A variety of man-made catalysts (ranging from semiconductors to supramolecular complexes) are being explored to drive H+/CO2 photo-reduction into energy rich compounds. However, the high overpotential requirements and/or low turnover rates observed for these catalysts restricts their practical use. Interestingly, enzymes which are used by nature to catalyse various energy/energy rich compound producing reactions have been found to exhibit superior catalytic activity and require minimal driving force. In particular, two classes of enzyme have been extensively studied – they are hydrogenases (H2ase) and carbon monoxide dehydrogenase (CODH) which possess highly active Fe- and Ni-containing active sites and exhibit turnover frequencies often measured in thousands (103-104) per second at minimal overpotential. In this project, these enzymes have been coupled with light harvesting semiconductor nanoparticles/thin films (known to efficiently separate the photo-generated charge carriers: e- and h+) to fabricate efficient hybrid photo-catalysts photo-converting H+/CO2 into H2/CO with minimal over-potentials

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United Kingdom