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H2/O2 enzymatic fuel cells: from the proof-of-concept to powerful devices


Intensive research during the last 15 years on mechanistic understanding of hydrogenases, the key enzyme for H2 transformation in many microorganisms, has authorized the concept of green energy producing through H2/O2 enzymatic fuel cells (EFCs), in which enzymes are used as biodegradable and bioavailable biocatalysts. More recently, great effort has been put in the improvment of the interfacial electron transfer process between the enzymes and high surface area conductive materials in order to shift from the proof-of-concept to usable power device. Herein, we analyze the main issues that have been adressed during the last 5 years to make this breakthrough. After a brief introduction on the structure of hydrogenases and bilirubin oxidases, a widely used enzyme for O2 reduction, we compare their activity with platinum. We introduce the first H2/O2 EFCs and discuss their main limitations mainly related to the sensitivity of hydrogenases to O2 and oxidative potentials. We then review the discovery of new enzymes in the biodiversity and the advances in the control of the functionnal immobilization of these enzymes on electrodes that have permitted to overcome these limitations. We finally present all the reported H2/O2 EFCs, with a critical discussion on the perspectives of such devices.

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Publication details

The article was received on 06 Apr 2017, accepted on 05 Jun 2017 and first published on 09 Jun 2017

Article type: Review Article
DOI: 10.1039/C7SE00180K
Citation: Sustainable Energy Fuels, 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    H2/O2 enzymatic fuel cells: from the proof-of-concept to powerful devices

    I. Mazurenko, X. Wang, A. de Poulpiquet and E. Lojou, Sustainable Energy Fuels, 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7SE00180K

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