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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number BB/H003878/1
Title Bacterial hydrogenases for biohydrogen technology
Status Completed
Energy Categories Renewable Energy Sources(Bio-Energy, Other bio-energy) 50%;
Hydrogen and Fuel Cells(Hydrogen, Hydrogen production) 50%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Chemistry) 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Professor FA (Fraser ) Armstrong
No email address given
Oxford Chemistry
University of Oxford
Award Type Research Grant
Funding Source BBSRC
Start Date 01 October 2009
End Date 31 March 2013
Duration 42 months
Total Grant Value £524,205
Industrial Sectors
Region South East
Investigators Principal Investigator Professor FA (Fraser ) Armstrong , Oxford Chemistry, University of Oxford (100.000%)
Web Site
Objectives This grant is linked to BB/H001190/1.
The Oxford and Dundee laboratories are superbly complementary. The Dundee group has internationally-recognised expertise in cell and molecular biology of hydrogenases, particularly E. coli and Salmonella. The Oxford group have pioneered a physical method- protein film electrochemistry- for studying hydrogenases; this reveals, rapidly and accurately, all important catalytic properties, with the enzyme attached to an electrode surface. The catalytic activity is recorded as electrical current and enzyme reactions are controlled through the electrode potential. The precise data that are obtained guide further investigations, saving large amounts of research time and money. Attaching an enzyme molecule to an electrode is analogous to 'wiring' it to an electrical circuit: the enzyme becomes a practical electrocatalyst, able to produce electricity from H2,, or H2 from electricity (or light, if attached to a photosensitive particle).
Abstract Biohydrogen is the production or oxidation of H2 by organisms. The scope for tapping into this resource for future energy is enormous; yet H2 is also a nutrient for pathogens. Hydrogen is produced and oxidised by a vast range of microorganisms, mainly using oxygen-sensitive enzymes known as hydrogenases. Hydrogen-based metabolism is essential for strict soil aerobes, methane-producers, notorious human pathogens such as Helicobacter and Salmonella, and even green algae that produce H2. The active sites contain Fe or Fe and Ni, coordinated by the unusual ligands CO and CN?, and we and others have proposed that the active sites of hydrogenases are as active as platinum - an expensive and limited resource. This has raised interest in their exploitation as actual or inspirational catalysts in electronic/fuel cell/sensor devices. Understanding the activity and O2-sensitivity of hydrogenases in organisms is one of the most important factors in bringing about a future, fully renewable, and healthy H2 energy technology.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 30/09/13