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Chemistry. 2005 Aug 19;11(17):4970-4.

A low-cost biofuel cell with pH-dependent power output based on porous carbon as matrix.

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  • 1State Key Laboratory of Electroanalytical Chemistry, Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Changchun Jilin, 130022, Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039, China.


A glucose/O2 biofuel cell (BFC) possessing a pH-dependent power output was fabricated by taking porous carbon (PC) as the matrix to load glucose oxidase or fungi laccase as the catalysts. The electrolytes in the anode and cathode compartments contain ferrocene monocarboxylic acid and 2,2'-azino-bis-(3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) diammonium salt as the mediators, respectively. The power of the BFC was enhanced significantly by using PC as the matrix, rather than glassy carbon electrode. Additionally, the power output of the BFC decreases as the pH of the solution increases from 4.0 to 7.0, which provides a simple and efficient method to achieve the required power output. More importantly, the BFC can operate at pH 6.0, and even at pH 7.0, which overcomes the requirement for cathode solutions of pH<5.0 when using fungi laccase as a catalyst. Operation of the BFC at neutral pH may provide a means to power medical devices implanted in physiological systems. The facile and low-cost fabrication of this BFC may enable its development for other applications.

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