Researchers from the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have combined two membrane-bound protein complexes to perform a complete conversion of water molecules to hydrogen and oxygen. An open-access paper describing their work is published in the journal Chemical Science . Sunlight-driven production of hydrogen from water provides a sustainable approach to achieve a clean, renewable alternative fuel to fossil fuels. Herein, we demonstrate unique systems that link PSII water oxidation to the reductive proton-coupled chemistry of self-assembled PSI-catalyst constructs in photosynthetic membranes. Both Pt-nanoparticles and synthetic molecular catalysts readily self-assemble with thylakoids via electrostatic or hydrophobic interactions, generating viable complexes that use light to rapidly produce hydrogen directly from water. We show that it is feasible to bind synthetic molecule catalysts to thylakoid membranes and make a functional, inexpensive solar fuel producing system, addressing a key challenge of scalability for making solar fuels a viable energy […]