373486 A Combinatorial Strategy Towards a Better Sugar-Powered Enzymatic Fuel Cell

Wednesday, November 19, 2014: 5:20 PM
International 5 (Marriott Marquis Atlanta)
Zhiguang Zhu, Cell-Free Bioinnovations Inc., Blacksburg, VA and Y.-H. Percival Zhang, Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA

Building high-energy-density, green, safe batteries is highly desirable for meeting the rapidly  growing needs of the increasing number of portable electronic devices. Enzymatic fuel cells (EFCs) are appealing metal-free bio-inspired batteries that directly convert chemical energy to electricity using enzymes. However, quite a few challenges such as incomplete oxidation of sugars (e.g., glucose and starch), low power output, short lifetime of enzymes, and expensive and non-stable mediators, have to be solved before EFCs can be commercialized in the future.

In this work, we have improved the performance of our EFC through working on several aspects: (1) using a synthetic enzymatic pathway to complete oxidize glucose unit and achieve the highest energy storage density in the EFC; (2) using thermostable free enzymes with free mediators to achieve high a power density; (3) using a novel carbon material to improve the power density; (4) engineering the redox enzyme and changing its preference to an inexpensive and stable cofactor.   

EFCs featuring an energy storage density of ~800 Ah/kg, 100% biodegradability, a high level of safety, and rapid refilling, and a high power output of 1 mW/cm2,  could be next-generation green power sources, particularly for portable electronic devices (e.g., smartphones, iPads, and GPS devices).


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