The integration of sensitive catalysts in redox matrices opens up the possibility for their protection from deactivating molecules such as O2 . [FeFe]-hydrogenases are enzymes catalyzing H2 oxidation/production which are irreversibly deactivated by O2 . Therefore, their use under aerobic conditions has never been achieved. Integration of such hydrogenases in viologen-modified hydrogel films allows the enzyme to maintain catalytic current for H2 oxidation in the presence of O2 , demonstrating a protection mechanism independent of reactivation processes. Within the hydrogel, electrons from the hydrogenase-catalyzed H2 oxidation are shuttled to the hydrogel-solution interface for O2 reduction. Hence, the harmful O2 molecules do not reach the hydrogenase. We illustrate the potential applications of this protection concept with a biofuel cell under H2 /O2 mixed feed.
Keywords: O2 protection; biocatalysis; biofuel cells; hydrogenases; viologen hydrogel.
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