Biomanufacture of nano-Pd(0) by Escherichia coli and electrochemical activity of bio-Pd(0) made at the expense of H2 and formate as electron donors

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Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of East Anglia
  • Finovatis



Palladised cells of Desulfovibrio desulfuricans and Shewanella oneidensis have been reported as fuel cell electrocatalysts but growth at scale may be unattractive/costly; we have evaluated the potential of using E. coli, using H2/formate for Pd-nanoparticle manufacture.


Using ‘bio-Pd’ made under H2 (20 wt%) cyclic voltammograms suggested electrochemical activity of bio-NPs in a native state, attributed to proton adsorption/desorption. Bio-Pd prepared using formate as the electron donor gave smaller, well separated NPs; this material showed no electrochemical properties, and hence little potential for fuel cell use using a simple preparation technique. Bio-Pd on S. oneidensis gave similar results to those obtained using E. coli.


Bio-Pd is sufficiently conductive to make an E. coli-derived electrochemically active material on intact, unprocessed bacterial cells if prepared at the expense of H2, showing potential for fuel cell applications using a simple one-step preparation method.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1903–1910
Number of pages8
JournalBiotechnology Letters
Issue number11
Early online date8 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


  • Bio-Pd, E. coli, Electrochemical activity, Fuel cell, Hydrogen production, Palladium

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