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Enzymatic Biofuel Cells: Explorations and Designs

Prof. Plamen Atanassov
University of New Mexico, USA

Enzymatic biofuel cells use proteins as bio-catalysis to convert chemical energy directly into electrical one. As the technologies required for these devices are being advanced, they will become available to serve as portable, flexible, compact, and potentially sustainable micro-power sources. Catalytic activity of enzymes allows for the use of either single or multiple reactions that can utilize a wide range of fuel sources, including carbohydrates and even macromolecules. This can allow the design of biofuel cell-powered devices that can refuel from the environment, thus enabling flexible, efficient, and distributed power generation. The selectivity of enzymes simplifies of the design of fuel cells, as separators, seals, and casings could be eliminated and packaging minimized. Such features provide for the ultimate miniaturization and change of the power source form factors.

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