Projects per year
Microorganisms produce metal nanoparticles (MNPs) upon exposure to toxic metal ions. However, the catalytic activity of biosynthesised MNPs remains underexplored, despite the potential of these biological processes to be used for the sustainable recovery of critical metals, including palladium. Herein we report that biogenic palladium nanoparticles generated by the sulfate-reducing bacterium Desulfovibrio alaskensis G20 catalyse the ligand-free Suzuki Miyaura reaction of abiotic substrates. The reaction is highly efficient (>99% yield, 0.5 mol% Pd), occurs under mild conditions (37 °C, aqueous media) and can be accelerated within biocompatible micelles at the cell membrane to yield products containing challenging biaryl bonds. This work highlights how native metabolic processes in anaerobic bacteria can be combined with green chemical technologies to produce highly efficient catalytic reactions for use in sustainable organic synthesis.