Approaches to Stabilization of Hydrogenase and Nitrogenase Against Oxygen Inactivation

  • Alexander M. Klibanov
  • Nathan O. Kaplan
  • Martin D. Kamen


In the present energy crisis, it is obvious that non-conventional, alternative sources of energy must be explored. Solar energy seems a natural choice. Since green plants and photosynthetic bacteria developed systems to utilize this energy eons ago, it is logical to seek solutions to the energy crisis based on the mechanisms they employ. Thus, an early scheme suggested and demonstrated to be feasible (1) involved a scheme for “artificial” solar energy bioconversion, which consisted of two key elements, plant chloroplasts and bacterial hydrogenase. Under illumination, chloroplasts decompose water to evolve oxygen and generate the reduced electron carrier, ferredoxin. In the subsequent dark reaction, hydrogenase oxidizes reduced ferredoxin to evolve hydrogen. As a result of such a biophotolysis of water H2 gas—an ideal fuel—is produced.


Free Enzyme Sulfosalicylic Acid Clostridium Pasteurianum Particulate Enzyme Solar Energy Research Institute 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander M. Klibanov
    • 1
  • Nathan O. Kaplan
    • 2
  • Martin D. Kamen
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Nutrition and Food ScienceMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryUniversity of California at San DiegoLaJollaUSA

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