Journal article Open Access

Mimicking the microbial oxidation of elemental sulfur with a biphasic electrochemical cell

Suárez-Herrera, Marco F.; Gamero-Quijano, Alonso; Solla-Gullón, José; Scanlon, Micheál D.


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{
  "note": "M.F.S.-H. acknowledges the \"Universidad Nacional de Colombia\" for allowing his sabbatical leave and the \"Fundaci\u00f3n Banco de la Rep\u00fablica\" through the grant 4.562.", 
  "DOI": "10.1016/j.electacta.2021.139443", 
  "container_title": "Electrochimica Acta", 
  "title": "Mimicking the microbial oxidation of elemental sulfur with a biphasic electrochemical cell", 
  "issued": {
    "date-parts": [
      [
        2021, 
        10, 
        22
      ]
    ]
  }, 
  "abstract": "<p>The lack of an artificial system that mimics elemental sulfur (S<sub>8</sub>) oxidation by microorganisms inhibits a deep mechanistic understanding of the sulfur cycle in the biosphere and the metabolism of sulfur-oxidising microorganisms. In this article, we present a biphasic system that mimics biochemical sulfur oxidation under ambient conditions using a liquid|liquid (L|L) electrochemical cell and gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) as an interfacial catalyst. The interface between two solvents of very different polarity is an ideal environment to oxidise S<sub>8</sub>, overcoming the incompatible solubilities of the hydrophobic reactants (O<sub>2</sub> and S<sub>8</sub>) and hydrophilic products (H<sup>+</sup>, SO<sub>3</sub><sup>2&ndash;</sup>, SO<sub>4</sub><sup>2&ndash;</sup>, <em>etc.</em>). Furthermore, the interfacial AuNPs provide a catalytic surface onto which O<sub>2</sub> and S<sub>8</sub> can adsorb. Control over the driving force for the reaction is provided by polarising the L|L interface externally and tuning the Fermi level of the interfacial AuNPs by the adsorption of aqueous anions. Comparison of electrochemical measurements using a 4-electrode closed bipolar electrochemical cell and a L|L electrochemical cell confirmed that electron transfer reactions are possible between O<sub>2</sub>, gold and S<sub>8</sub> in biphasic systems.</p>", 
  "author": [
    {
      "family": "Su\u00e1rez-Herrera, Marco F."
    }, 
    {
      "family": "Gamero-Quijano, Alonso"
    }, 
    {
      "family": "Solla-Gull\u00f3n, Jos\u00e9"
    }, 
    {
      "family": "Scanlon, Miche\u00e1l D."
    }
  ], 
  "page": "139443", 
  "volume": "401", 
  "version": "Published", 
  "type": "article-journal", 
  "id": "5727480"
}
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