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Stochastic electrochemistry for catalysis and analysis of carboneous bio-electrodes.

Project description

Improving electron transfer in enzymatic fuel cells

Enzymatic biofuel cells are a prominent example of a rapidly developing technology called bioelectrochemical systems (BES) to generate electricity. One challenge that needs to be overcome before BES can be commercialised is to improve electron transfer between the electrodes and the enzymes that grow around them. To this end, the EU-funded STOCHELEC project will synthesise electrodes based on carbon nanodots; such nanostructures can be engineered to match the energy levels of redox active enzymes and enhance their stability and efficiency. Improving the electronic coupling between the electrode surface and enzyme catalysts will lead to greater electricity production.


Bio-electrochemical sciences are essential for the development of biosensor and biofuels cells. The precise nano-structuration of conductive materials with electro-active enzymes allows the reversible transduction of electrical energy to chemical energy via direct electron transfer (DET). The operational stability of bio-electrocatalytic systems is limited by the constant and strong electrical field building-up at the interface. The electrode polarisation generates a strong and static electrical field rigidifying the interfacial electronic double layer, often preventing free enzymes’ dynamics and leading to an enzymes’ loss of activity due to the destruction of their active 3D structure. Customized electrical polarisation patterns have the potential to enhance both electro-enzyme stability and efficiency. Biological electronic transfers processes being non-linear, it is expected that electrical stochastic signal excitation can greatly influence the electron transfer process at a bio-electrode.

This proposal focusses on gaining new knowledge about the electronic stochastic and unambiguous stimulation of bio-electrodes for catalytic and analytical purposes. The first objective is to synthesize nanostructured carbon nano-dots (C-dots) electrodes for the immobilisation of redox enzymes. C-dots possess a so-called trap-state; an energetic level that can be engineered to match biological redox cofactor potentials and thus enhance electronic coupling between the electrode and redox active enzymes. The second aim is to investigate pulsed and alternative current polarisation for enhancing bio-electrocatalysts efficiency and electro enzymes’ stability with non-ambiguous electrical waveform. The third aim of this proposal is to develop a novel electro-analytical technique relying on the Fourier transform analysis of chronoamperometry signals stimulated by a stochastic signal polarisation of bio-electrodes (FTSC).


Net EU contribution
€ 184 707,84
33402 Talence

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Nouvelle-Aquitaine Aquitaine Gironde
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 184 707,84