[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

278 Scopus Citations


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 languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2015-2022
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2008

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-270-42429


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