Biological water oxidation: Lessons from Nature

Mohammad Mahdi Najafpour, Atefeh Nemati Moghaddam, Suleyman I. Allakhverdiev, Govindjee

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    76 Citations (Scopus)


    Hydrogen production by water splitting may be an appealing solution for future energy needs. To evolve hydrogen efficiently in a sustainable manner, it is necessary first to synthesize what we may call a 'super catalyst' for water oxidation, which is the more challenging half reaction of water splitting. An efficient system for water oxidation exists in the water oxidizing complex in cyanobacteria, algae and plants; further, recently published data on the Manganese-calcium cluster have provided details on the mechanism and structure of the water oxidizing complex. Here, we have briefly reviewed the characteristics of the natural system from the standpoint of what we could learn from it to produce an efficient artificial system. In short, to design an efficient water oxidizing complex for artificial photosynthesis, we must learn and use wisely the knowledge about water oxidation and the water oxidizing complex in the natural system. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Photosynthesis Research for Sustainability: from Natural to Artificial.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1110-1121
    Number of pages12
    JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


    • Artificial photosynthesis
    • Manganese-calcium cluster
    • Natural photosynthesis
    • Water oxidation
    • Water oxidizing complex
    • Water splitting

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biophysics
    • Biochemistry
    • Cell Biology


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