Oxygen Is Electroreduced to Water on a "Wired" Enzyme Electrode at a Lesser Overpotential than on Platinum

  • Mano N
  • Fernandez J
  • Kim Y
 et al. 
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Abstract

The first enzyme-based catalyst that is superior to platinum in the four-electron electroreduction of oxygen to water is reported. The smooth Pt cathode reached half and 90% of the mass transport-limited current density at respective overpotentials of -0.4 and -0.58 V in 0.5 M sulfuric acid, and only at even higher overpotentials in pH 7.2 phosphate buffer. In contrast, the smooth "wired" bilirubin oxidase cathode reached half and 90% of the mass transport-limited current density at respective overpotentials as low as -0.2 and -0.25 V. The mass transport-limited current density for the smooth "wired" enzyme cathode in PBS was twice that with smooth Pt in 0.5 M sulfuric acid. Under 1 atm O2 pressure, O2 was electroreduced to water on a polished carbon cathode, coated with the "wired" BOD film, in pH 7.2 saline buffer (PBS) at an overpotential of -0.31 V at a current density of 9.5 mA cm-2. At the same overpotential, the current density of the polished platinum cathode in 0.5 M H2SO4 was 16-fold lower, only 0.6 mA cm-2.

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