Mediated biocatalytic cathodes operating on gas-phase air and oxygen in fuel cells

Nicholas S. Hudak, Joshua W. Gallaway, Scott Calabrese Barton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 22 Citations

Abstract

A biocatalytic fuel cell cathode operating with gas-phase air or oxygen is demonstrated. The cathode consisted of the oxygen-reducing enzyme laccase from Trametes versicolor and an osmium-based redox polymer mediator. These components were deposited with a small amount of citrate buffer solution onto a porous carbon-fiber support. The biocathode was combined with a Nafion electrolyte membrane and a conventional platinum anode to form a membrane-electrode assembly. The electrode reached current densities of 1 mA cm2 at 0.8 V (vs reference hydrogen electrode) when exposed to humidified oxygen or air but was unstable because of water loss from the cathode. Flow rate, humidification, and oxygen concentration of the cathode gas stream had a strong effect on stability but not on maximum current density. Cyclic voltammetry and electrochemical impedance experiments revealed that ionic conductivity in the cathode decreased as water was lost.

LanguageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Volume156
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

Profile

fuel cells
Fuel cells
Cathodes
Gases
cathodes
vapor phases
Oxygen
air
oxygen
Air
electrodes
Electrodes
current density
membranes
water loss
cell cathodes
Current density
gas streams
osmium
Membranes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrochemistry
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

Mediated biocatalytic cathodes operating on gas-phase air and oxygen in fuel cells. / Hudak, Nicholas S.; Gallaway, Joshua W.; Calabrese Barton, Scott.

In: Journal of the Electrochemical Society, Vol. 156, No. 1, 2009.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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