Miranda Cozza

and Bio-energy
By: Miranda Cozza
My Article
Bio-Batteries and Bio-Fuel Cells:
Leveraging on Electronic Charge
Transfer Proteins
By: A. M. Kannan, V. Renugopalakrishnan, S.
Filipek, P. Li, G. F. Audette, and L. Munukutla
 Nanotechnology is a branch of physical
science which deals with the study and analysis of
matter on an atomic or molecular scale to yield new
structures, devices, materials, systems and catalysts
with unique and extraordinary properties.
 This technology can provide us quicker, faster and more
reliable methods to optimize the energy generation
from the biological sources.
 Products based on nanotechnology that are available
today have an extremely diverse background, ranging
from industrial measuring and sensing devices, therapeutic
systems and consumer friendly goods such as wrinkles
resistant clothes, tubeless tires and so on.
Introduction: Bio-Fuel Cells
 Energy- conversion device based on bio-electrocatalysis
leveraging on enzymes or microorganisms.
 Either through Direct Electron transfer- where
electron transfer is directly between enzymes and
 Or Mediated electron transfer- in which electron
shuttle mediators shuttle the electron between
enzymes and electrodyes
 DET is more desirable
 We are going to be using miniature cells to derive power
from biological macromolecules
Bio-fuel Cell Continued and
 Galvani discovered that biological pathways have a
bioelectrochemical facet
 This is because an electron signal can induce biological
reaction; and the same goes in the reverse.
 First microbial biofuel demonstrated in 1912
 But first enzyme-based bio-fuel cell only reported in
1964 using glucose oxidase – anodic catalyst and
glucose as bio fuel
 Bio Battery – generates electricity from carbohydrates by
using enzymes as the catalysts
 Glucose → Gluconolactone+2H+2e−
 O2 +4H+4e− → 2H2O
Previous Attempts of Bio-fuel Cells
 Several potential applications of BFCs have been reported
 However, there are no Bio fuel design templates that
allow for the production of a working device with a size
on the order of 1 cc
 due to the difficulty for enzymes to attain direct
electrical contact with the electrodes of the cell and
catalyze reactions effectively
 Two large obstacles with bio-fuel cell
 Increasing power density
 And increasing enzyme stability
Technical Challenges of BioFuel Cells
1. Nanostructured bioelectrocatalysis.
2. Immobilization of bioelectrocatalysts.
3. Protein denaturation induced by CNT
 Bio fuel cells need catalyst
 Example
 virus-based lithium-ion biobatteries.
 There is an increasing need for smaller and more
flexible Li ion batteries methods to assemble battery
materials in various applications.
 However, realizing smaller and flexible battery
systems need monodisperse, homogeneous
nanomaterials and hierarchical organization
Immobilized Bioelectrocatalyst
on CNTs (Carbon Nanotubes)
 In order to promote DET of the protein and to improve
the stability, it is necessary that the protein is immobilized in
the form of clusters.
 Recent study that CEC-Gox did not manifest in activity
after 250 days
 This is due to the CNTS
 Carbon nanotubes have potential to allow new 3dimensional CNT- Gox anode structures
 From the researcher laboratories of this article they found
that the CNT – lead to denaturation of proteins
Electron Transfer
Most of bio-molecular electronic or protein
based devices hinge on ECT (Electron
charge transfer)
Protein bearing transition metals such as
Cu2+ and Fe 2+ play leading roles in
Electron transport
Flavoproteins- used in electron charge
Oxidoreductases- main Glucose Oxidase
Glucose Oxidase (Gox)
Article focused on Gox as a test
case for covalent attachment to
Discovered- covalent attachment
of Gox to SWCNT(single – walled
carbon nanotubes) enhances the
efficient transfer of electrons
By engineering a approach that
significantly simplifies the process of bio
fuel cells; done by
there is no need for thin film
depositions or any other surface
 there is no preference for the
semiconductor or metal used
and is easily adaptable to
nanostructured surfaces.
Critique/ Future work
 This article was very interesting but they did not really
show what kind of experimentation went on to
discover their findings. They just explained more
about things that were known or needed a solution
 The one thing that bothered me is that they talked
about how crosslinking with CNTs could cause
denaturation, but never explained how or proposed
a solution. This could be future work.
 At the end it talks about the packaging of bio-fuel
cells and how there are many challenges to
incorporate nanotechnology into the fuel cell and
mass produce it. This could also be future work.
• Kannan, A. M., et al. "Bio-Batteries and Bio-Fuel Cells:
Leveraging on Electronic Charge Transfer Proteins."
Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (2008): 1-13.
• F.Davis and S.P.J.Higson, Biosens. Bioelectron. 22, 1224
• . M.C.Potter, Proceedings of the Royal Society B,
Biological Sciences 84, 260 (1912).
• A.T.Yahiro, S.M.Lee, and D.O.Kimble, Bioelectrochemistry:
Enzyme utilizing bio-fuel cell studies, Biochimica et
Biophysica Acta (BBA)—Specialized Section on Biophysical
Subjects 88, 37
• A.Heller, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 6, 209 (2004) and
references therein
Questions and Answers!

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