259197 A High-Power Enzymatic Fuel Cell That Can Completely Oxidize Glucose

Wednesday, October 31, 2012: 5:25 PM
407 (Convention Center )
Zhiguang Zhu and Y-H. Percival Zhang, Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA

An enzymatic fuel cell (EFC) is believed as a promising technology to meet the growing need to power miniaturized microelectronic, micromechanical and microfluidic devices, such as environmental sensors, battery chargers, and medical implants.  However, it is still on its early stage, because of high cost of manufacturing, low power output, instabilities of biocatalysts and cofactors, limited fuel utilization efficiency, and so on.  To develop more stable and powerful enzymatic fuels, cell-free synthetic pathway biotransformation has been applied for enzymatic fuel cells. Our previous studies have shown two key dehydrogenases in the pathway – glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase and 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase – can work well and the EFCs can generate electricity from glucose-6-phosphate, maltodextrin and glucose with power densities around 10-2 ~ 10-1 mW/cm2. In this work, we have developed a novel carbon nanotube electrode disk that generates several mW/cm2 power density. With more enzymes that are responsible for complete oxidation of glucose and no enzyme immobilization, glucose fuel can be completely oxidized and is projected to produce 24 electrons per glucose unit ideally.

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