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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/D047943/1
Title: The Supergen5 Biological Fuel Cells Consortium
Principal Investigator: Armstrong, Professor FA
Other Investigators:
Slade, Professor RCT Pickett, Professor CJ Premier, Emeritus Professor GC
Guo, Professor ZX Sloan, Professor WT
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Anglian Water Biocatalysts Ltd Chameleon Biosurfaces Ltd
CMR Fuel Cells Ltd Mast Carbon Ltd Thames Water Plc
Yorkshire Water
Department: Oxford Chemistry
Organisation: University of Oxford
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 18 April 2006 Ends: 17 October 2010 Value (£): 2,022,490
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Biological & Medicinal Chem. Electrochemical Science & Eng.
Fuel Cell Technologies
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Energy Transport Systems and Vehicles
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
A consortium of teams from 6 universities aims to achieve major advances in a technology that potentially produces electricity directly from sustainable biological materials and air, in devices known as biological fuel cells. These devices are of two main types: in microbial fuel cells micro-organisms convert organic materials into fuels that can be oxidised in electrochemical cells, and in enzymatic fuel cells electricity is produced as a result of the action of an enzyme (a biological catalyst). Fuels that can be used include (1) pure biochemicals such as glucose, (2) hydrogen gas and (3) organic chemicals present in waste water.The Consortium programme involves a unique combination of microbiology, enzymology, electrochemistry, materials science and computational modelling. Key challenges that the Consortium will face include modelling and understanding the interaction of an electrochemical cell and a population of micro-organisms, attaching and optimising appropriate enzymes, developing and studying synthetic assemblies that contain the active site of a natural enzyme, optimising electrode materials for this application, and designing, building and testing novel biological fuel cells.A Biofuel Cells Industrial Club is to be formed, with industrial partners active in water management, porous materials, microbiology, biological catalysis and fuel cell technology. The programme and its outcomes will be significant steps towards producing electricity from materials and techniques originating in the life sciences. The technology is likely to be perceived as greener than use of solely chemical and engineering approaches, and there is considerable potential for spin off in changed technologies (e.g. cost reductions, reduction in the need for precious metals, biological catalysts for production of hydrogen by electrolysis).
Key Findings
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Date Materialised
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.ox.ac.uk