Improving Electron Transfer in Enzymatic Biofuel Cells
by Bob Yirka (Phys.org) A team of researchers with members from institutions in Singapore, China and the U.K. has found a way to improve electron transfer in enzymatic biofuel cells. In their paper published in the journal Nature Energy, they describe their technique and how well it works. Huajie Yin and Zhiyong Tang with Griffith University in Australia and the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology in China, offer a News & Views piece on the work done by the team in the same journal issue.
Currently, enzymatic biofuel cells are inefficient, have a short lifespan and do not produce much power. These problems, the researchers note, are due to the difficulty in wiring enzymes and electrode surfaces. In this effort, they claim to have overcome some of that difficulty by combining two previously developed methods aimed at solving the problem. The first method involves connecting an enzyme to the surface of an electrode in such a way as to allow the electrons to tunnel between the two—it is called direct electron transfer. The second method involves a mediator that is used help the transfer—it is called, quite naturally, mediated electron transfer.
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