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Felipe Conzuelo and Fangyuan Zhao have investigated why artificial photosynthesis systems are unstable. © RUB, Kramer
The research team: Volker Hartmann, Felipe Conzuelo, Fangyuan Zhao and Wolfgang Schuhmann (from left to right) © RUB, Kramer

Why bioelectrodes for energy conversion are not stable

How artificial photosynthesis systems should be designed in the future to remain functional in the long term.

In order to convert light energy into chemical energy in an environmentally friendly way, bioelectrodes containing a photosynthesis protein complex, the so-called photosystem I, could be useful. So far, however, such electrodes have not been functional in the long term – although the photosystem I is stable in nature. RUB researchers describe why this is the case in the renowned journal Nature Communications.

They demonstrated that irradiation with light produced reactive oxygen species and hydrogen peroxide, which can damage the photosystem I in the long term. The findings could help to develop stable solutions in the future.

For the research, the team around Dr Fangyuan Zhao, Dr Felipe Conzuelo and Prof Dr Wolfgang Schuhmann from the RUB-Centre for Electrochemical Sciences cooperated with colleagues from the Bochum Chair of Plant Biochemistry. The work took place within the framework of the Cluster of Excellence RESOLV. 


Original Publication:

Fangyuan Zhao, Steffen Hardt, Volker Hartmann, Huijie Zhang, Marc M. Nowaczyk, Matthias Rögner, Nicolas Plumeré, Wolfgang Schuhmann, Felipe Conzuelo: Light-induced formation of partially reduced oxygen species limits the lifetime of photosystem 1-based biocathodes, in: Nature Communications, 2018, 9, 1973 DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-04433-z

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