• The group led by Dr. Lital Alfonta is working on Biofuel Cells research aimed at finding the way to control the electrochemistry of microorganisms. We use molecular biology to improve the electrode-living cell interaction.
1. We try to genetically engineer the electron transfer pathway between bacterial cells to electrodes.
2. A full control of the redox potentials within the cascade of electron transfer reactions may be enabled.
3. We are trying to use our engineered cells for waste water treatment applications for energy production.
• Profs. Eli Korin and Armand Bettelheim investigate three fields of interest: fuel cells, solar hydrogen production and carbon dioxide reduction to fuels.
1. Fuel cells research focuses on the preparation of catalytic tailor-made porous aerogel carbon electrodes. The catalyst in these electrodes is based on non-noble metal complexes instead of the commonly used and expensive platinum.
2. Use of similar electrode systems in conjunction with transparent organic hydrogels (used as quasi-solid electrolytes) is being explored in photoelectrochemical cells in which hydrogen is produced. The incorporation of compounds, which have an important role in electron transfer processes in natural photosynthesis, in the porous electrode/hydrogel systems are investigated.
3. Production of fuels is also addressed by the electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide at ambient conditions using a gas diffusion device which consists of porous carbon electrodes and a new membrane that is being developed. Various metals and organometallic complexes are being explored as catalysts in order to reduce the electric power needed for the process of converting CO2 to useful fuels