Light-driven and bias-free direct conversion of cellulose to electrical power

Mor Shemesh, Yifat Cohen, Roy Cohen, Matan M. Meirovich, Nidaa S. Herzallh, Oleg Chmelnik, Yuval Shoham, Omer Yehezkeli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Biomass is an attractive source of renewable energy with the potential to help replace conventional fossil fuels, and efforts are being directed toward its utilization. Polysaccharide-based raw materials can be treated chemically or enzymatically to be further utilized as glucose, added-value chemicals, or fuel. While these industrial processes are well established, direct biomass conversion to pollution-free electrical power still needs to be developed. Herein, we present a biotic-abiotic model system that facilitates direct conversion of cellulosic material into electrical power. The photodriven electrochemical configuration operates under bias-free conditions to reach above 1 mW/cm2 and 1 V open-circuit voltage while coupled to an enzyme-based biocathode. To enable high photooxidation efficiency, a BiVO4-based photoanode is tailored to suppress undesired competing reactions, namely water oxidation, without affecting glucose-oxidation capabilities. The developed photo(bio)electrochemical cell presents a platform that may be utilized for the conversion of other environmental threat materials to electrical energy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101546
JournalCell Reports Physical Science
Issue number9
StatePublished - 20 Sep 2023


  • BiVO4
  • bilirubin oxidase
  • biohybrid
  • biotic abiotic
  • cellulase
  • cellulose
  • photo-bioelectrochemical cell
  • photocurrent
  • renewable energy
  • water oxidation suppression

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Engineering
  • General Energy
  • General Materials Science
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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