Miniaturized biological and electrochemical fuel cells: challenges and applications.

Phys Chem Chem Phys. 2013 Sep 14;15(34):14147-61.

Yang J, Ghobadian S, Goodrich PJ, Montazami R, Hashemi N.

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA. [email protected].




This paper discusses the fundamentals and developments of miniaturized fuel cells, both biological and electrochemical. An overview of microfluidic fuel cells, miniaturized microbial fuel cells, enzymatic biofuel cells, and implanted biofuel cells in an attempt to provide green energy and to power implanted microdevices is provided. Also, the challenges and applications of each type of fuel cell are discussed in detail. Most recent developments in fuel cell technologies such as novel catalysts, compact designs, and fabrication methods are reviewed.


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Optofluidic photobioreactors can provide uniform distribution of light for effective production of algae-based biofuels. The focus of our research is to build a fundamental understanding of how optofluidics could provide a platform for efficient algae-based biofuel production, through i) Design and development of an optofluidic bioreactor that transmits light to the deeper layer of algal biomass effectively, and ii) Developing highly biocompatible hydrogel microfibers capable of transmitting light as a resilient scaffold for biofilm formation. In a microfluidic platform, hydrodynamic forces will be employed to control both molecular organization and microstructure size and shape in order to create highly structured composites.



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