Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Chemistry and Biochemistry

First Advisor

Saumen Chakraborty

Second Advisor

John Wiginton

Third Advisor

Jared Delcamp

Relational Format



The world relies on nonrenewable resources for a significant portion of its usable energy, the most common being fossil fuels. Fossil fuels release many unwanted byproducts during their extractions and conversion processes. As a result, this excessive use leads to harsh consequences upon the environment, including rapid global warming, release of numerous water and air pollutants, and it could possibly lead to an increased risk of death in those who are exposed to these toxins. In response to this scenario, the goal of my project is to design an artificial hydrogen catalyst, which can absorb sunlight and oxidize H2O into O2 and reduce atmospheric CO2 into sugars. These catalysts are inspired from various microorganisms that can produce hydrogen themselves; they contain hydrogenases that can bind to a metal of interest and form a coordination complex to produce hydrogen. In my catalyst, the coordination complex consisted of the following: alpha domain of metallothionein as the protein, Ni (II) as the metal of interest, and various photosensitizers and electron donors to test for hydrogen release. Upon conclusion of my experiments, the best combinations of photosensitizers, electron donors, and optimal conditions were obtained for maximum release of hydrogen.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Biochemistry Commons



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