Solar Fuels Laboratory of Prof. Joanna M. Kargul
We are developing a stable and efficient self-organised catalyst based on immobilised photosystem I (PSI) particles for the production of hydrogen gas using water as an electron/H+ source. We use the highly active and robust red algal PSI as a natural photocathode or photosensitizer/charge separator to generate reducing equivalents of sufficient energy to produce water-derived molecular hydrogen upon absorption of sunlight. As members of the major European collaborative initiative, the EuroSolarFuels consortium, we aim is to construct a heterojunction tandem device for efficient solar-to-hydrogen conversion. In parallel, we investigate the molecular mechanisms of photoprotection of the photosynthetic apparatus operating under extreme conditions, using a model extremophilic phototroph: the red microalga Cyanidioschyzon merolae.