Iron-sulfur nanosystem isolated from bacterium is more reactive than catalysts in use
Those seeking to design more efficient catalysts for the production of hydrogen and the control of air pollutants might do well to take a closer look at how chemistry works in nature, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory say. Their theoretical investigations of a bacterial enzyme reveal a catalytic complex with higher predicted chemical reactivity than that of industrial catalysts currently in use. The results of the team’s theoretical analysis will be published online by the Journal of Physical Chemistry B the week of January 24, 2005.
“We wanted to establish how the biological system works, and then compare it with materials currently used in industry for these chemical processes — and we found that the biological system is indeed better,” said Brookhaven chemist Jose Rodriguez, lead author of the paper. “The challenge now is whether we can reproduce this more efficient system for use in an industrial setting.” Added Brookhaven biochemist Isabel Abreu, the paper’s second author, “We are learning from nature what is working in nature, and then trying to use that for the design of other processes.”
Karen McNulty Walsh | EurekAlert!
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