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(162i) Effect of Electrode Surface Coating with a Biodegradable Copolymer on Biofuel Cell Performance.

Kalaga, E. A. - Presenter, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
Rathinam, N. K., South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
Karanam, S. P., Chassix Inc
Sani, R. K., South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
Brenza, T., South Dakota Mines
There is a constant global search out for a promising electrode functionalization strategy that can enhance performance of biofuel cell. The present study aims to investigate the biocompatibility of a biodegradable copolymer with a thermophilic microorganism - Geobacillus sp. strain WSUCF1 which can degrade biomass and is thermally stable until 60ºC. We are also investigating the performance of the biofuel cell using various electrochemical analysis methods which are based on conversion of a substrate into voltage.

A biodegradable copolymer was synthesized in our lab. The structure and molecular weight were determined through Fourier transform infra- red spectroscopy (FT-IR), proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-NMR), and multi angle light scattering spectrometry. Thermal and morphological properties were characterized using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and X-ray powder diffraction (XRD).

Carbon felt electrodes were used as a base material for the electrode of the biofuel cell. The carbon felt electrodes were dip coated with the polymer. Electroanalytical techniques such as cyclic voltammetry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy were used to compare the conversion of glucose into electricity and electrochemical activity of the uncoated and coated electrodes. The results of this investigation showed that the coated electrodes confer compatibility to WSUCF1 and improved performance of the biofuel cell.

Keywords: Degradable polymer, Bio-electrochemical system, Biocompatibility.