Sustainable production of solar-based chemicals is possible by mimicking the natural photosynthetic mechanism. To realize the full potential of solar-to-chemical production, the artificial means of photosynthesis and the biological approach should complement each other.
The recently developed hybrid microbe–metal interface combines an inorganic, semiconducting light-harvester material with efficient and simple microorganisms, resulting in a novel metal–microbe interface that helps the microbes to capture energy directly from sunlight. This solar energy is then used for sustainable biosynthesis of chemicals from CO2.
This review discusses various approaches to improve the electron uptake by microbes at the bioinorganic interface, especially self-photosensitized microbial systems and integrated water splitting biosynthetic systems, with emphasis on CO2bioelectrosynthesis.