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Biosens Bioelectron. 2008 Dec 1;24(4):945-50. doi: 10.1016/j.bios.2008.07.043. Epub 2008 Aug 3.

Citric acid cycle biomimic on a carbon electrode.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Saint Louis University, 3501 Laclede Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63103, USA.


The citric acid cycle is one of the main metabolic pathways living cells utilize to completely oxidize biofuels to carbon dioxide and water. The overall goal of this research is to mimic the citric acid cycle at the carbon surface of an electrode in order to achieve complete oxidation of ethanol at a bioanode to increase biofuel cell energy density. In order to mimic this process, dehydrogenase enzymes (known to be the electron or energy producing enzymes of the citric acid cycle) are immobilized in cascades at an electrode surface along with non-energy producing enzymes necessary for the cycle to progress. Six enzymatic schemes were investigated each containing an additional dehydrogenase enzyme involved in the complete oxidation of ethanol. An increase in current density is observed along with an increase in power density with each additional dehydrogenase immobilized on an electrode, reflecting increased electron production at the bioanode with deeper oxidation of the ethanol biofuel. By mimicking the complete citric acid cycle on a carbon electrode, power density was increased 8.71-fold compared to a single enzyme (alcohol dehydrogenase)-based ethanol/air biofuel cell.

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