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Issue 23, 2009
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Electrons from hydrogen

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The growing need for hydrogen-based fuel cells has driven research into hydrogenase (H2ase)—a natural enzyme that catalyses the extraction of electrons from H2 in water under ambient conditions. Unfortunately, the exact mechanism by which H2ase achieves this feat has remained a matter of some controversy until now, with many mechanisms being inconsistent with experimental data. Recently, however, we have been able to produce a successful catalytic mimic of H2ase that replicates key aspects of it. This paper begins with an overview of the research from many groups that preceded this discovery, followed by a detailed analysis of the key points that set our unique functional model apart—that is to say a proton-like “hydride” species, a surprisingly low-valent NiIRuI complex and the key insight that two molecules of H2 are required for electron extraction.

Graphical abstract: Electrons from hydrogen

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Publication details

The article was received on 07 Jan 2009, accepted on 13 Feb 2009 and first published on 24 Mar 2009

Article type: Feature Article
DOI: 10.1039/B900297A
Chem. Commun., 2009, 3317-3325

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    Electrons from hydrogen

    S. Ogo, Chem. Commun., 2009, 3317
    DOI: 10.1039/B900297A

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