Hydrogen peroxide produced by glucose oxidase affects the performance of laccase cathodes in glucose/oxygen fuel cells: FAD-dependent glucose dehydrogenase as a replacement†
Hydrogen peroxide production by glucose oxidase (GOx) and its negative effect on laccase performance have been studied. Simultaneously, FAD-dependent glucose dehydrogenase (FAD-GDH), an O2-insensitive enzyme, has been evaluated as a substitute. Experiments focused on determining the effect of the side reaction of GOx between its natural electron acceptor O2 (consumed) and hydrogen peroxide (produced) in the electrolyte. Firstly, oxygen consumption was investigated by both GOx and FAD-GDH in the presence of substrate. Relatively high electrocatalytic currents were obtained with both enzymes. O2 consumption was observed with immobilized GOx only, whilst O2 concentration remained stable for the FAD-GDH. Dissolved oxygen depletion effects on laccase electrode performances were investigated with both an oxidizing and a reducing electrode immersed in a single compartment. In the presence of glucose, dramatic decreases in cathodic currents were recorded when laccase electrodes were combined with a GOx-based electrode only. Furthermore, it appeared that the major loss of performance of the cathode was due to the increase of H2O2 concentration in the bulk solution induced laccase inhibition. 24 h stability experiments suggest that the use of O2-insensitive FAD-GDH as to obviate in situ peroxide production by GOx is effective. Open-circuit potentials of 0.66 ± 0.03 V and power densities of 122.2 ± 5.8 μW cm−2 were observed for FAD-GDH/laccase biofuel cells.