Hydrogen catalysis may be possible with enzymes instead of platinum

Categorie(s) : Life @ MINATEC, News, Research

Published : 6 October 2013

Could enzymes like hydrogenases be used instead of costly platinum as hydrogen catalysts? The answer could be yes, according to research published in the July issue of Nature magazine. A team of scientists* has developed a reacting agent that completely activates a previously inactive hydrogenase. This hydrogenase is used by micro-organisms that rely on hydrogen for energy—meaning it could potentially serve as a hydrogen catalyst.

Until now complicated biological machinery was needed to activate the hydrogenase, so the discovery of a simpler pathway is an exciting development. Natural or artificial hydrogenases could serve as much cheaper alternatives to platinum for fuel cells and hydrogen production.

*From CEA, Collège de France, CNRS, Grenoble University’s Joseph Fourier School, and two German laboratories

Contact: marc.fontecave@cea.fr



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