Hierarchically-Structured Bio-Electrocatalyst Materials Design

Award Information
Department of Defense
Air Force
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
AF 09TT03
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Akermin Incorporated
4633 World Parkway Circle, St. Louis, MO, 63134
Hubzone Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Wayne Gellett
Program Manager
(314) 824-1977
Business Contact:
Nick Akers
Director Business Development
(314) 824-1979
Research Institution:
University of New Mexico
Plamen Atanassov
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM, 87131
(505) 277-2640
Domestic nonprofit research organization
Akermin proposes, in collaboration with the University of New Mexico, to demonstrate the viability of electronic connections between biomolecules and engineered surfaces in order to harvest power and energy through biologic systems. This work is in part based on Akermin's proprietary enzyme stabilization technology, which can be used for many lower power commercial and military applications, including microelectrical mechanical devices, unattended ground sensors, and small mobile power devices. This technology has advantages over similar competing technologies (i.e., batteries, conventional fuel cells, and thermal based power supplies) when addressing the needs of small remote sensors and electronics. Akermin's unique biofuel cell technology has overcome the limitations traditionally associated with enzymatic biofuel cells such as instability at pH's other than neutral, short operational and shelf lifetimes, and stability relative to temperature changes. The University of New Mexico will contribute their expertise in the design of high surface are engineered electrode materials containing appropriate metal structures for improved electrical connection to biologic molecules. The combination of technologies will result in the highest performing biocathode for highly efficient and long lasting biofuel cell power supplies. BENEFIT: The anticipated benefit of a commercially viable biofuel cell for low power military applications includes being able to provide improved mission operating times due to having greater energy density than incumbent batteries. Additionally, the proposed biofuel cell can be considered an environmentally benign power source, which can be disposed of without concern for environmental contamination. The technology developed under this proposal also has applications in non-military, high volume disposable consumer applications with existing sales volumes of over 100 million units per year. The primary benefit for consumer applications will be the displacement of existing batteries that contain toxic materials with an environmentally benign biofuel cell alternative.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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