(229d) Novel Reverse Electrodialysis Biofuel Cell | AIChE

(229d) Novel Reverse Electrodialysis Biofuel Cell


Hestekin, C. N. - Presenter, University of Arkansas
Hestekin, J., University of Arkansas
Rodgers, B., University of Arkansas
Smith, C., University of Arkansas
Biofuel cells offer the potential for a continuous, implantable source of power. A primary area of focus for biofuel cells has been the use of glucose oxidase immobilized enzymes. While in theory this enzyme has the potential to produce power for long periods of time inside of the body, in practice the immobilized enzyme breaks down over the course of anywhere from hours to days. Therefore, there is a need to explore other technologies to realize the goal of a long term biofuel cell. The objective of this research was to use a completely new approach to biofuel cells by using Gibbs Free Energy of Mixing between a low concentration and a high concentration stream to generate power. Within the body, the blood in the renal vein is reduced in ions (low concentrations) due to the waste removal function of the kidneys. Thus mixing the renal vein’s blood with blood in another vein can produce power by reverse electrodialysis (RED). The RED‐based biofuel cell has a power density on the same order of magnitude as the best glucose oxidase biofuel cells. Furthermore, the RED‐based biofuel cell was operated for several weeks with little loss in power. In addition, the reduction in power due to the presence of the bovine albumin serum (BSA) protein was also investigated. Overall, the RED-based biofuel cell offers a consistent and sustainable method for generating energy to power medical devices.