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Beratan Group Explains New Class of Electron Bifurcation Reactions

Biology is well known to manipulate energy using proton-coupled electron transfer and phosphorylation reactions.  It was found recently that energy conversion can also occur via a new class of reactions, known as electron bifurcation reactions.  Remarkably, these reactions send one electron “uphill” and one “downhill,” enabling the overall reaction to satisfy the demands of thermodynamics.  Jonathon Yuly, a graduate student working with Profs. Zhang and Beratan in the department, has developed a theory of electron bifurcation that explain the logic and efficiency that underpin this critical new class of reactions.  These studies are were described recently in an Accounts of Chemical Research article:  Acc. Chem. Res., 2017, 50, 2410–2417, DOI: 10.1021/acs.accounts.7b00327.