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Keywords:

  • biocatalysis;
  • cofactor regeneration;
  • hydrogen;
  • hydrogenase;
  • NADH ;
  • oxidoreductase;
  • oxygen tolerance;
  • Ralstonia eutropha ;
  • redox reactions

A large number of industrially relevant enzymes depend upon nicotinamide cofactors, which are too expensive to be added in stoichiometric amounts. Existing NAD(P)H-recycling systems suffer from low activity, or the generation of side products. H2-driven cofactor regeneration has the advantage of 100% atom efficiency and the use of H2 as a cheap reducing agent, in a world where sustainable energy carriers are increasingly attractive. The state of development of H2-driven cofactor-recycling systems and examples of their integration with enzyme reactions are summarized in this article. The O2-tolerant NAD+-reducing hydrogenase from Ralstonia eutropha is a particularly attractive candidate for this approach, and we therefore discuss its catalytic properties that are relevant for technical applications.