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Bilirubin oxidase based enzymatic air-breathing cathode: Operation under pristine and contaminated conditions

Atanassov, Plamen; Schuler, Andrew; Erable, Benjamin; Babanova, Sofia; Santoro, Carlo


Plamen Atanassov

Andrew Schuler

Benjamin Erable

Sofia Babanova

Carlo Santoro


© 2015 Elsevier B.V. The performance of bilirubin oxidase (BOx) based air breathing cathode was constantly monitored over 45days. The effect of electrolyte composition on the cathode oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) output was investigated. Particularly, deactivation of the electrocatalytic activity of the enzyme in phosphate buffer saline (PBS) solution and in activated sludge (AS) was evaluated. The greatest drop in current density was observed during the first 3days of constant operation with a decrease of ~60μAcm-2day-1. The rate of decrease slowed to ~10μAcm-2day-1 (day 3 to 9) and then to ~1.5μAcm-2day-1 thereafter (day 9 to 45). Despite the constant decrease in output, the BOx cathode generated residual current after 45days operations with an open circuit potential (OCP) of 475mV vs. Ag/AgCl. Enzyme deactivation was also studied in AS to simulate an environment close to the real waste operation with pollutants, solid particles and bacteria. The presence of low-molecular weight soluble contaminants was identified as the main reason for an immediate enzymatic deactivation within few hours of cathode operation. The presence of solid particles and bacteria does not affect the natural degradation of the enzyme.


Atanassov, P., Schuler, A., Erable, B., Babanova, S., & Santoro, C. (2016). Bilirubin oxidase based enzymatic air-breathing cathode: Operation under pristine and contaminated conditions. Bioelectrochemistry, 108, 1-7.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 23, 2015
Publication Date Apr 1, 2016
Deposit Date Apr 25, 2018
Journal Bioelectrochemistry
Print ISSN 1567-5394
Electronic ISSN 1878-562X
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 108
Pages 1-7
Keywords Bilirubin oxidase; Oxygen reduction reaction; Enzymes durability; PBS conditions; Pollutants
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