This invention is directed to a method for coupling the in situ synthesis of high value/energy chemical products to the oxidations of low value/energy reactants in a closed system driven by solar energy from a photobiofuel cell. This is accomplished by adding an NADP-dependent hydrogenase enzyme to the hydrogen-producing cell so that DADPH is produced from the high energy hydrogen. The method involves placing the electrode wired to the photoanode and the hydrogen-evolving hydrogenase in a separate compartment with an NADP-linked hydrogenase enzyme. The second compartment is connected to the photoanode compartment by a suitable membrane, frit or salt bridge and the wire or suitable electrical connection between the photoanode and the hydrogen-evolving hydrogenase.This process is valuable because is makes possible the conversion in a closed system of a low value/energy mixture of compounds, including waste organic materials, to a high value/energy single compound suitable as an energy source for an in situ fuel cell or as a valuable chemical product. The process is driven by solar energy and the chemical energy inherent in the fuel materials. The conversion of the low value/energy fuel material is high because the input side of the photoanode is poised highly oxidizing by the oxidation potential of the photosensitizer radical cation.
|Original language||English (US)|
|State||Published - May 29 2003|