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Development of enzyme-based biofuel cells

Grant number: 05/04439-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2006
Effective date (End): August 31, 2010
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Physical-Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Ernesto Rafael Gonzalez
Grantee:Luciano dos Santos
Host Institution: Instituto de Química de São Carlos (IQSC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


The aim of this work is the development of biofuel cells, in which the main subject to be studied is the oxygen and hydrogen peroxide reduction reactions, by the use of enzymatic catalysts. The enzymes will be studied on the basis of the biocatalytic activity to be used as reducing agents in the cathode of the biofuel cells. Starting with the implementation of new approaches to immobilize enzymes on the surface of different electrode materials, it will be possible to build the bioelectrochemical cells and, eventually, clarify reaction mechanisms for active enzymes that can be used in fuel cells. Additionally, the use of mediators will also be studied in connection with the electron transfer process between the enzyme and the electrode surface for immobilized enzymes and also for enzymes in solution. The characterization of the electrode materials will be carried out using spectrophotometric techniques like uv-vis absorption spectroscopy, nanogravimetric techniques like the quartz crystal nanobalance and traditional electrochemical techniques including cyclic voltammetry, chronoamperometry and steady-state current-potential polarization, together with the rotating disc electrode technique.The electrochemical experiments will allow an evaluation of the activity of the different enzymes. The nanostructure of the electrode interface will be studied with AFM/STM techniques. Finally, experiments will also be carried out in a single biofuel cell operating with H2 in the anode and O2 in the cathode, aiming at possible applications of the sudied systems. (AU)

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Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
SANTOS, Luciano dos. Investigation of the enzyme Bilirubin Oxidase as a catalyst for the oxygen electrochemical reduction reaction. 2010. Doctoral Thesis - Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Instituto de Química de São Carlos (IQSC/BT) São Carlos.

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