The team around Professor Aihua LIU has developed a fuel cell which can directly convert energy from xylose into electrical energy using xylose dehydrogenase (XDH) surface displayed on E. coli (XDH-bacteria). The cell-surface displaying system was based on a newly identified ice nucleation protein from Pseudomonas borealis DL7 as an anchoring motif. The one-compartment biofuel cell contains XDH-bacteria /poly (brilliant cresyl blue) (PBCB) /multiwalled-carbon-nanotubes (MWNTs) modified glassy carbon electrode (GCE) (XDH/PBCB/MWNTs/GCE) as the bioanode, and bilirubin-oxidase /MWNTs /GCE as the biocathode. The as-assembled BFC showed a maximum power density of 63 μWcm-2 at 0.44 V with an open circuit potential of 0.58V.

CAS news release, April 4, 2013