Newsportal - Ruhr-Universität Bochum
How enzymes produce hydrogen
RUB researchers together with colleagues from the Freie Universität Berlin have clarified the crucial catalytic step in the production of hydrogen by enzymes. The enzymes, called [FeFe]-hydrogenases, are efficient hydrogen producers and are thus a candidate for the biotechnological production of the potential energy source. "In order to produce hydrogen on an industrial scale with the aid of enzymes, we must precisely understand how they work," says Prof Dr Thomas Happe, one of the authors of the study.
The team led by Happe and Dr Martin Winkler from the Bochum-based Photobiotechnology Working Group reports on the results in renowned journal Nature Communications.
For a long time, hydrogenase researchers were convinced that a highly unstable intermediate state had to occur during the reaction, whereby a negatively charged hydrogen ion, called a hydride, bonds to the enzyme. The researchers used a trick to verify this for the first time.
21 July 2017