Research report 2005 - Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion

Production and Consumption of Molecular Hydrogen by Hydrogenases

van Gastel, Maurice; Reijerse, Eduard J.; Lubitz, Wolfgang

Biophysikalische Chemie (Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Lubitz)
MPI für bioanorganische Chemie, Mülheim an der Ruhr

Molecular hydrogen (H2) is an important energy carrier in environmentally-friendly applications, e.g. clean fuel cells, which are under development worldwide. However, presently the large scale production of hydrogen from water and sunlight is still a major challenge. In nature anaerobic bacteria use this molecule as energy source. The two major classes of hydrogenases, the enzymes that catalyze the production or the splitting of H2, were investigated by means of EPR and FTIR spectroscopy and quantumchemical calculations to elucidate the reaction mechanism.

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