Developing high-performance enzymatic biofuel cell
Date of Issue2013
School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering
Nowadays, biomaterials is becoming a promising green and renewable technology compared with conventional fossil fuels. It occurs either in forms of biofuels, which is a process of converting chemical energy in the substances into mechanical energies, or biofuel cells (BFCs), which use enzymes as the catalysts to harvest energy from environmental and sustainable fuels abundantly producible from biological systems. However, the applications of current BFCs is greatly limited by their poor stability and high specificity to only one fuel type of these bio-catalysts. In this project, we demonstrate a unique BFC equipped with two identical enzyme-free electrodes based on Co3O4 coated 3D graphene, has the ability to harvest electricity from various sugarfuels (glucose, sucrose, or lactose) efficiently. Considering the advantages of the dual catalytic ability of nanostructured Co3O4 for both glucose oxidation and oxygen reduction together with the exceptional electrical and structural properties of 3D graphene, our glucose-powered BFC which has the excellent long-term stability, can provide the highest open circuit potential (~1.1 V) and power density output (2.38 ± 0.17 mW/cm2) ever reported.