Bioelectrocatalysis provides access to sustainable and highly efficient technological applications. However, several limitations related either to the intrinsic properties of the biocatalyst or to technical difficulties still hamper or even prevent the integration of such devices into technologically relevant large-scale processes. In this Review, we challenge the common viewpoint suggesting biology-based catalytic systems as a promising approach for the provision of sustainable stored energy and discuss the status of bioelectrocatalytic devices developed for energy conversion. In particular, we focus on two major research areas in the field, that is, H2-powered hydrogenase-based biofuel cells and biophotoelectrodes for solar energy harvesting. We identify the main limitations that have to be addressed to gain access to applied large-scale bio-based and bio-inspired advanced energy conversion systems. Moreover, we show recent examples and milestones that are paving the way towards potential realization of these technologies by overcoming existing limiting factors.
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This work was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) within the framework of the Cluster of Excellence RESOLV (EXC-2033; project number 390677874).
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Ruff, A., Conzuelo, F. & Schuhmann, W. Bioelectrocatalysis as the basis for the design of enzyme-based biofuel cells and semi-artificial biophotoelectrodes. Nat Catal 3, 214–224 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41929-019-0381-9
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