Highlight | Biohydrogen
In a world set to see the growth of a hydrogen-based economy, a key priority has to be the development of new catalysts that would bypass the use of platinum in hydrogen production systems (low temperature electrolysers). Researchers at the Laboratory of Metals in Chemical and Biology used the strong nucleophilic properties of cobaloximes, cobalt bis-glyoxime complexes (see figure) initially developed as biomimetic cobalamine (vitamin B12) models, to catalyze the reduction of protons to dihydrogen with quite low overvoltages. The catalytic mechanism is as follows: electrochemically reduced to the cobalt(I) state, the cobaloxime protonates generating a cobalt(III) hydride complex that protonates again to evolve dihydrogen.
Baffert B, Artero V and Fontecave M
Cobaloximes as functional models for hydrogenases (Part 2): Proton electroreduction catalyzed by difluoroboryl-bis(dimethylglyoximato)cobalt(II) complexes in organic media.
Inorganic Chemistry, 2007
Razavet M, Artero V and Fontecave M
Proton electroreduction catalyzed by cobaloximes: Functional models of hydrogenases.
Inorganic Chemistry, 2005
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.