Bacteria–photocatalyst sheet for sustainable carbon dioxide utilization

Qian Wang, Shafeer Kalathil, Chanon Pornrungroj, Constantin D. Sahm, Erwin Reisner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)
136 Downloads (Pure)


The clean conversion of carbon dioxide and water to a single multicarbon product and O2 using sunlight via photocatalysis without the assistance of organic additives or electricity remains an unresolved challenge. Here we report a bio-abiotic hybrid system with the non-photosynthetic, CO2-fixing acetogenic bacterium Sporomusa ovata grown on a scalable and cost-effective photocatalyst sheet consisting of a pair of particulate semiconductors (La and Rh co-doped SrTiO3 (SrTiO3:La,Rh) and Mo-doped BiVO4 (BiVO4:Mo)). The biohybrid effectively produces acetate (CH3COO) and oxygen (O2) using only sunlight, CO2 and H2O, achieving a solar-to-acetate conversion efficiency of 0.7% at ambient conditions (298 K, 1 atm). The photocatalyst sheet oxidizes water to O2 and provides electrons and hydrogen (H2) to S. ovata for the selective synthesis of CH3COO from CO2. To demonstrate utility in a closed carbon cycle, the solar-generated acetate was used directly as feedstock in a bioelectrochemical system for electricity generation. These semi-biological approaches thus offer a promising strategy for sustainably and cleanly fixing CO2 and closing the carbon cycle. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-641
Number of pages9
JournalNature Catalysis
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022


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