Semi-biological approaches to solar-to-chemical conversion

Xin Fang, Shafeer Kalathil, Erwin Reisner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

152 Citations (Scopus)
25 Downloads (Pure)


This review presents a comprehensive summary of the recent development in semi-artificial photosynthesis, a biological-material hybrid approach to solar-to-chemical conversion that provides new concepts to shape a sustainable future fuelled by solar energy. We begin with a brief introduction to natural and artificial photosynthesis, followed by a discussion of the motivation and rationale behind semi-artificial photosynthesis. Then, we summarise how various enzymes can be combined with synthetic materials for light-driven water oxidation, H2 evolution, CO2 reduction, and chemical synthesis more broadly. In the following section, we discuss the strategies to incorporate microorganisms in photocatalytic and (photo)electrochemical systems to produce fuels and chemicals with renewable sources. Finally, we outline emerging analytical techniques to study the bio-material hybrid systems and propose unexplored research opportunities in the field of semi-artificial photosynthesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4926-4952
Number of pages27
JournalChemical Society Reviews
Issue number14
Early online date15 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2020


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