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Ascorbic acid-oxygen biofuel cell and  zinc-oxygen cell based on carbon-silicate biocathode

Anna Celebanska ,  Magdalena Bielawska ,  Marcin Opallo 

Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute of Physical Chemistry, Kasprzaka 44/52, Warszawa 01-224, Poland


In last few years attention is paid to construction of implantable power sources for medical devices [1]. These are miniature biofuel cells or hybrid cells, where enzymes are applied as catalyst of electrodes reaction and physiological fluids perform fuel function [2,3]. In such case size of cell is limited only by size of anode and cathode. The most popular example is glucose-oxygen biofuel cell [4].

Here, we would like to present biofuel cell operates on ascorbic acid oxidation and dioxygen reduction and hybrid cell with zinc anode [5]. Both devices consist of carbon-silicate biocathode obtained from hydrophilic carbon nanoparticles and functionalized silicate particles [6] or film [7] further modified with adsorbed bilirubin oxidase. The new carbon-silicate materials were obtained employing the layer-by-layer method [8]. The electrode applied as cathode in ascorbic acid-dioxygen biofuel cell was covered by Nafion to prevent bilirubin oxidase deactivation. The same carbon-silicate material was also used as bioanode for ascorbic acid oxidation.

The electrodes were examined by cyclic voltammetry, chronoamperometry and Scanning Electron Microscopy. Their properties clearly depends on the amount of carbon-silicate material deposited on the substrate. In particular nanoparticulate  material significantly decrease overpotential of ascorbic acid oxidation. This allows to construct the model of ascorbic acid-oxygen biofuel cell and determine current-voltage characteristics for both types of batteries.


[1] Heller A., Phys. Chem. Phys. 6 (2004) 209.

[2] Heller A., Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 385 (2006) 496.

[3] Barton S.C., Gallaway J., Atanassov P., Chem.Rev. 104 (2004) 4867.

[4] Cinquin P., Gondran C., Giroud F., Mazabrard S., Pellissier A., Boucher F., Alcaraz J-P., Gorgy K., Lenouvel F., Mathe S., Porcu P., Cosnier S., PlosOne 5 (2010) e10476.

[5] Nogala W. Celebanska A., Wittstock G., Opallo M., Fuel Cells 10 (2010) 1157.

[6] Celebanska A. Tomaszewska D., Lesniewski A., Opallo M., Biosens. Bioelectron. 26 (2011) 4417.

[7] Szot K., Leśniewski A., Niedziolka J., Jonsson M., Rizzi C., Gaillon L., Marken F., Rogalski J., Opallo M., J. Electroanal. Chem 623 (2008) 170.

[8] Crespilho F.,  Zucolotto V., Oliveira Jr.O., Nart F. Int. Electrochem. Sci. 1 (2006) 194.


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Presentation: Poster at SMCBS'2011 International Workshop, by Anna Celebanska
See On-line Journal of SMCBS'2011 International Workshop

Submitted: 2011-09-03 22:41
Revised:   2011-09-19 12:44