A gas breathing hydrogen/air biofuel cell comprising a redox polymer/hydrogenase-based bioanode

Julian Szczesny, Nikola Marković, Felipe Conzuelo, Sónia Zacarias, Inês A.C. Pereira, Wolfgang Lubitz, Nicolas Plumeré, Wolfgang Schuhmann, Adrian Ruff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)


Hydrogen is one of the most promising alternatives for fossil fuels. However, the power output of hydrogen/oxygen fuel cells is often restricted by mass transport limitations of the substrate. Here, we present a dual-gas breathing H2/air biofuel cell that overcomes these limitations. The cell is equipped with a hydrogen-oxidizing redox polymer/hydrogenase gas-breathing bioanode and an oxygen-reducing bilirubin oxidase gas-breathing biocathode (operated in a direct electron transfer regime). The bioanode consists of a two layer system with a redox polymer-based adhesion layer and an active, redox polymer/hydrogenase top layer. The redox polymers protect the biocatalyst from high potentials and oxygen damage. The bioanodes show remarkable current densities of up to 8 mA cm-2. A maximum power density of 3.6 mW cm-2 at 0.7 V and an open circuit voltage of up to 1.13 V were achieved in biofuel cell tests, representing outstanding values for a device that is based on a redox polymer-based hydrogenase bioanode.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4715
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


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