Carbon dioxide (CO2) can be converted to valuable products using different catalysts, including metal or biological catalysts (e. g. microorganisms). Some products formed by metal electrocatalysts can be further utilized by microorganisms, and therefore catalytic cooperation can be envisioned. To prevent cumbersome separations, it is beneficial when both catalyst work under the same conditions, or at least in the same reaction medium. Here, we will show that a formate-producing copper electrocatalyst can function in a biological medium. Furthermore, we will show that the effluent of the copper-containing reactor can be used without purification as the sole medium for a bio-reactor, inoculated with a mixed culture of microorganisms. In that second reactor, formate, H2 and CO2 are consumed by the microorganisms, forming acetate and methane. Compared to simple buffer electrolyte, catalytic activity of copper was improved in the presence of microbial growth medium, likely due to EDTA (Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) present in the latter.
Bibliographical noteAccepted Author Manuscript
- carbon dioxide fixation
- catalytic cooperation
- formate electrosynthesis
- supported catalysts