[FeFe]-hydrogenase-catalyzed H2 production in a photoelectrochemical biofuel cell

Michael Hambourger, Miguel Gervaldo, Drazenka Svedruzic, Paul W. King, Devens Gust, Maria Ghirardi, Ana L. Moore, Thomas A. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

244 Citations (Scopus)


The Clostridium acetobutylicum [FeFe]-hydrogenase HydA has been investigated as a hydrogen production catalyst in a photoelectrochemical biofuel cell. Hydrogenase was adsorbed to pyrolytic graphite edge and carbon felt electrodes. Cyclic voltammograms of the immobilized hydrogenase films reveal cathodic proton reduction and anodic hydrogen oxidation, with a catalytic bias toward hydrogen evolution. When corrected for the electrochemically active surface area, the cathodic current densities are similar for both carbon electrodes, and ∼40% of those obtained with a platinum electrode. The high surface area carbon felt/hydrogenase electrode was subsequently used as the cathode in a photoelectrochemical biofuel cell. Under illumination, this device is able to oxidize a biofuel substrate and reduce protons to hydrogen. Similar photocurrents and hydrogen production rates were observed in the photoelectrochemical biofuel cell using either hydrogenase or platinum cathodes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2015-2022
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Feb 13 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry

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