Bio-inspired constructs for sustainable energy production and use

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sustainable energy production for human use based upon solar powered bio-inspired constructs and renewable resources is achievable. However, several challenges must be overcome before this goal is realized. One is the efficient coupling of electromotive force to the oxidation of water and to the electroreductive synthesis of chemical fuels for energy storage. Beginning with the electrolysis of efficient use of solar energy requires water oxidation at minimal overpotential, a feat accomplished by enzymes found in Nature. However, in order to be used in this context, these enzymes must be switched from their usual source of oxidation potential to other forms such as electromotive force in a metallic conductor. Biological catalysts can use the electrons produced by such oxidations to carry out the synthesis of energy-rich reduced carbon compounds (or hydrogen) with little overpotential and almost no side reactions. But once again, to accomplish this technologically, it will be necessary to switch Nature's catalysts from their usual source of reduction potential to electromotive force in a metallic conductor or other forms of reduction potential. In an initial step in this direction, this article presents a hybrid system in which a porphyrin-sensitized Grätzel-type nanoparticulate wide band gap semiconductor photoanode is used for the photochemical reformation of biomass to hydrogen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-56
Number of pages7
JournalActualite Chimique
Issue number308-309
Publication statusPublished - May 2007

Fingerprint

Electromotive force
Oxidation
Hydrogen
Catalysts
Water
Porphyrins
Enzymes
Hybrid systems
Electrolysis
Energy storage
Solar energy
Biomass
Carbon
Switches
Electrons

Keywords

  • Artificial photosynthesis
  • Bioenergetics
  • Biological catalysis
  • Fuel cell
  • Hydrogen
  • Protonmotive force
  • Solar energy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)

Cite this

Bio-inspired constructs for sustainable energy production and use. / Moore, Ana L; Gust, John Devens; Moore, Thomas A.

In: Actualite Chimique, No. 308-309, 05.2007, p. 50-56.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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