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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry