Graphene as thinnest coating on copper electrodes in microbial methanol fuel cells

Islam, Jamil, Obulisamy, Parthiba Karthikeyan, Upadhyayula, Venkata KK, Dalton, Alan B, Ajayan, Pulickel M, Rahman, Muhammad M, Tripathi, Manoj, Sani, Rajesh Kumar and Gadhamshetty, Venkataramana (2022) Graphene as thinnest coating on copper electrodes in microbial methanol fuel cells. ACS Nano. ISSN 1936-0851

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Dehydrogenation of methanol (CH3OH) into direct current (DC) in fuel cells can be a potential energy conversion technology. However, their development is currently hampered by the high cost of electrocatalysts based on platinum and palladium, slow kinetics, the formation of carbon monoxide intermediates, and the requirement for high temperatures. Here, we report the use of graphene layers (GL) for generating DC electricity from microbially driven methanol dehydrogenation on underlying copper (Cu) surfaces. Genetically tractable Rhodobacter sphaeroides 2.4.1 (Rsp), a nonarchetypical methylotroph, was used for dehydrogenating methanol at the GL-Cu surfaces. We use electrochemical methods, microscopy, and spectroscopy methods to assess the effects of GL on methanol dehydrogenation by Rsp cells. The GL-Cu offers a 5-fold higher power density and 4-fold higher current density compared to bare Cu. The GL lowers charge transfer resistance to methanol dehydrogenation by 4 orders of magnitude by mitigating issues related to pitting corrosion of underlying Cu surfaces. The presented approach for catalyst-free methanol dehydrogenation on copper electrodes can improve the overall sustainability of fuel cell technologies.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in ACS Nano, copyright © XXXX American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see
Schools and Departments: School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2023 11:56
Last Modified: 04 Jan 2023 12:00

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