Enhanced Light-Driven Hydrogen Production by Self-Photosensitized Biohybrid Systems

Mónica Martins, Catarina Toste, Inês A.C. Pereira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Storage of solar energy as hydrogen provides a platform towards decarbonizing our economy. One emerging strategy for the production of solar fuels is to use photocatalytic biohybrid systems that combine the high catalytic activity of non-photosynthetic microorganisms with the high light-harvesting efficiency of metal semiconductor nanoparticles. However, few such systems have been tested for H2 production. We investigated light-driven H2 production by three novel organisms, Desulfovibrio desulfuricans, Citrobacter freundii, and Shewanella oneidensis, self-photosensitized with cadmium sulfide nanoparticles, and compared their performance to Escherichia coli. All biohybrid systems produced H2 from light, with D. desulfuricans-CdS demonstrating the best activity overall and outperforming the other microbial systems even in the absence of a mediator. With this system, H2 was continuously produced for more than 10 days with a specific rate of 36 μmol gdcw−1 h−1. High apparent quantum yields of 23 % and 4 % were obtained, with and without methyl viologen, respectively, exceeding values previously reported.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9055-9062
Number of pages8
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2021


  • biohybrid systems
  • hydrogen production
  • nanoparticles
  • photocatalysis
  • sulfate-reducing bacteria


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