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Science. 2016 Jun 3;352(6290):1210-3. doi: 10.1126/science.aaf5039.

Water splitting-biosynthetic system with CO₂ reduction efficiencies exceeding photosynthesis.

Author information

1
Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA. Division of Chemistry and Biological Chemistry, School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, 637371 Singapore.
2
Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
3
Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA. dnocera@fas.harvard.edu pamela_silver@hms.harvard.edu.
4
Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA. dnocera@fas.harvard.edu pamela_silver@hms.harvard.edu.

Abstract

Artificial photosynthetic systems can store solar energy and chemically reduce CO2 We developed a hybrid water splitting-biosynthetic system based on a biocompatible Earth-abundant inorganic catalyst system to split water into molecular hydrogen and oxygen (H2 and O2) at low driving voltages. When grown in contact with these catalysts, Ralstonia eutropha consumed the produced H2 to synthesize biomass and fuels or chemical products from low CO2 concentration in the presence of O2 This scalable system has a CO2 reduction energy efficiency of ~50% when producing bacterial biomass and liquid fusel alcohols, scrubbing 180 grams of CO2 per kilowatt-hour of electricity. Coupling this hybrid device to existing photovoltaic systems would yield a CO2 reduction energy efficiency of ~10%, exceeding that of natural photosynthetic systems.

PMID:
27257255
DOI:
10.1126/science.aaf5039
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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