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Glucose biofuel cell pad

Reference

11107-01

Patents status

French priority patent application filed on June 8th, 2018 and entitled “Biopile à réservoir de combustible” – “Biofuel cell with fuelreservoir”

Inventors

Alan LE GOFF, Yannig NEDELLEC, Caroline ABREU, Serge COSNIER, Michael HOLZINGER

commercial status

Exclusive or non-exclusive license

Laboratory

DCM- Département de Chimie Moléculaire

http://dcm.ujf-grenoble.fr/DCM-SITE/DCM/

UMR5250, Grenoble, France

Description

Context

This enzymatic biofuel cell is designed in the shape of a button cell, and can be used with readily available biofuels such as glucose. A wide range of applications is possible, from the detection of a biofuel to the power supply of portable electric or electronic devices. This small and flat cell is metal-free, rendering the devices non-detectable, recyclable and easily disposed of.

Technical description

This biofuel cell consists of two electrodes containing enzymes, electrochemical mediators, confined in mesoporous carbon-based matrices which are separated by a cellulose sheet. These two electrodes are placed in a tablet-shaped housing. Two pads enclosing the porous electrodes allows the storage or refill of the cell with glucose-containing fluids. The biofuel cell, when connected to a portable device, can be activated with the introduction of fluids containing glucose and function autonomously. Furthermore, by saturating the separating cellulose sheet with glucose and electrolyte salt, the biofuel cell can be activated with water. The invention can also find other applications such as the detection of glucose.

Development stage

Our biofuel cells are made in the laboratory and are able to function 2 to 3 hours with one refill, and more if refilled with glucose solution. They are stable for several months before use if stored in a water-free environment. Two cells in series are able to power a portable medical test such as digital pregnancy or ovulation tests. The design of the cell continues to be improved to fit in a button cell casing.

Benefits

The use of enzymes and carbon-based materials instead of metals makes this cell non-toxic, ecological and 100 % recyclable. It only needs naturally-occuring molecules such as glucose (contained in body fluids but also sugar-containing drinks for example) and air to produce power equivalent to classical button cells and alkaline batteries, with greatly reduced cost.

Industrial applications

Medical : power supply for portable/disposable tests (e.g. pregnancy or ovulation tests) with digital screens.

Power supply of small electronic devices (watch, toys, LED lamps, sensors…)

Power supply of disposable sensors for water quality

Temporary power supply of devices using available glucose-containing fluids (physiologic liquids, plants, drinks, …) when no other energy source is available

 

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