• Products
  • Cas lib
  • Buy offers
  • Encyclopedia
  • Msds lib
  • Synthesis
  • Reach Info
  • Suppliers
Home>news>Guidance>Improving electron transfer in enzymatic biofuel cells

Improving electron transfer in enzymatic biofuel cells

Jun 13 2018 share:

The as-designed poly(pyrr)–ABTS–pyr film. a, Representations of Trametes versicolor Lac with the hydrophobic binding pocket oriented towards the bottom of the page and the T1 copper site located on one side of the enzyme at the base of a hydrophobic pocket, which acts as the binding site of the enzyme substrate. The remaining three copper atoms are bound on the T2 and T3 sites in a triangular cluster approximately 12 Å away towards the other side of the enzyme, where oxygen binds. b, Graphical depiction of the ET from the electrode towards Lac through poly(pyrr)–ABTS–pyr film. Credit: (c) 2018 Nature Energy (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41560-018-0166-4

A team of researchers with members from institutions in Singapore, China and the U.K. has found a way to improve electron transfer in enzymatic biofuel cells. In their paper published in the journal Nature Energy, they describe their technique and how well it works. Huajie Yin and Zhiyong Tang with Griffith University in Australia and the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology in China, offer a News & Views piece on the work done by the team in the same journal issue.

Enzymatic biofuel cells are, as their name implies, a type of fuel cell based on enzymes as catalysts instead of expensive metals. Because of their potential, scientists have been eager to find ways to overcome problems that have inhibited commercial applications—they are expected to be much cheaper to make than those now in use.

Currently, enzymatic biofuel are inefficient, have a short lifespan and do not produce much power. These problems, the researchers note, are due to the difficulty in wiring enzymes and electrode surfaces. In this effort, they claim to have overcome some of that difficulty by combining two previously developed methods aimed at solving the problem. The first method involves connecting an enzyme to the surface of an electrode in such a way as to allow the electrons to tunnel between the two—it is called direct . The second method involves a mediator that is used help the transfer—it is called, quite naturally, mediated electron transfer.

The researchers combined the two approaches to take advantage of the benefits of each. They used laccase as the and designed a transfer system that connected to a special type of carbon nanotube surface to further improve electron . The system was made of three parts, an ABTS compound (to serve as a mediator), situated between a polypyrrole group at one end and a pyrene group at the other.

In testing their technique, the team found that the maximum OOR current density reached as high as 2.45 mA/cm2 and their device was able to keep half of its ORR current for 120 days. They suggest their results show promise and expect further improvements as they refine the technique.

Disclaimer: This site reproduced the contents of the source indicate the source, is reproduced for the purpose of passing more information does not imply endorsement of their views or confirm the authenticity of its contents.