New Electrochemical Cells for Studying the Mechanism of Enzymes for Energy Storage

Project acronym: NUCELL

Topics: CODH, redox metalloenzymes, biotechnology, atmospheric CO2 catalyse

Concerned disciplinary fields: chemistry, biology, physics, fluid dynamics

Summary: CO dehydrogenases (CODH) are redox metalloenzymes that catalyze the reversible reduction of CO2 into CO, the first and most difficult step in the conversion of atmospheric CO2 to carbonaceous fuels. As these enzymes are very fast, specific in terms of product, and energy-efficient, a better understanding of their properties and their mechanism would make it possible to design better catalysts for CO2 reduction and/or to use them directly in biotechnological devices. The project teams have used direct electrochemistry to study the mechanism of CODH. However, in contrast with the other enzymes studied before, the catalytic reaction of CODH is so fast that the enzymatic response is limited by mass transport of the substrate towards the electrode, which blurs all the mechanistic information in the electrochemical signals. The choice was therefore to assemble a team of physicists, biologists and chemists to design completely new electrochemical cells with improved transport properties to study the CODH. The information gained from the studies will help design better catalysts for CO2 reduction; moreover, the cells, that will be designed, will also be useful for studying other enzymes and molecular catalysts.

Project interlocutor: Vincent Fourmond, BIP (UMR 7281)

Project duration: 10/01/2018 – 30/09/2021

Call for application: Interdisciplinarité 2016

Photography credits: Photo by Adrien Converse on Unsplash, License

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