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ECS Short Courses


Vancouver, Canada | Sunday, April 25, 2010

Short Course #2
Biofuels for Electrochemical Systems
Shelley Minteer and Scott Calabrese Barton, Instructors

This course is intended for chemists, physicists, materials scientists, and engineers to better understand biofuels and their use in electrochemical systems. This course will first introduce the student to biofuels and the importance and controversy surrounding biofuel production and use. The course will then discuss use of biofuels in traditional fuel cells, biofuel cells, and biobatteries. This multidisciplinary short course will provide the student with a deeper knowledge in the areas of biochemistry, electrochemistry, and engineering as they apply to electrochemical conversion of biofuels. The following areas will be covered in this short-course:

  • introduction and overview of biofuels;
  • electrocatalysis of biofuels at metal-based electrodes: ethanol, butanol, glycerol, biohydrogen;
  • low temperature and high temperature fuel cells employing biofuels: direct ethanol fuel cells, reformation, solid oxide fuel cells;
  • introduction to biofuel cells and biobatteries: microbial, organelle, enzymatic;
  • direct and mediated bioelectrocatalysis;
  • bioanodes: glucose, ethanol, lactate, glycerol;
  • biocathodes: laccase, bilirubin oxidase;
  • enzyme immobilization and stabilization: sol-gel entrapment, conducting polymer entrapment, micellar polymer encapsulation, crosslinking and covalent binding; and
  • biofuel cell design and engineering: bipolar and monopolar stack designs, strip cells, and membrane-less designs.


About the Instructors

Shelley D. Minteer is a Professor of Chemistry at Saint Louis University (SLU) in St. Louis, Missouri (USA). From July 2006 to January 2007, she was a Visiting Scholar at the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, University of Hawaii (Manoa). She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2008 American Chemical Society St. Louis Award, the 2008 Scientific American Top 50 Award, the 2008 Society of Electroanalytical Chemists Young Investigator Award, the Saint Louis University Award for Excellence in Research (2003 and 2006), a 2006 Finalist for the Saint Louis Award for Excellence in Mentoring, the 2006 Missouri Inventor of the Year Award, the SLU Student Government Association Faculty Excellence Award (2004 and 2006), the 2006 Saint Louis Business Journal Under 40 Award, the 2005 Academy of Science of St. Louis Innovation Award, and the 2004 William V. Stauder, S.J. Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Sciences.

At Saint Louis University, Dr. Minteer's research program has focused on the development of enzyme immobilization membranes for increased stability of biosensor and biofuel cell electrodes, along with incorporating direct and mediated bioelectrocatalysis into anodes and cathodes. She has recently expanded his bioelectrocatalysis work beyond enzymes to mitochondria and is currently working on developing mitochondria-based biofuel cells and self powered sensors.

Dr. Minteer co-founded Akermin, Inc. with her former graduate student, Nick Akers, in 2003 to commercialize biofuel cell technology. She has also been a co-organizer of the "Biological Fuel Cells" symposium held at the ECS meetings in 2004, 2006, 2008, and the planned symposium in 2010. She has been a co-organizer of several other ECS symposiums. She is currently the Vice-Chair of the Physical and Analytical Electrochemistry Division (PAED) of ECS and has been part of the Executive Committee of PAED for the last 5 years.

Scott Calabrese Barton is an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at Michigan State University. Dr. Calabrese Bartonís research focuses on engineering and materials issues in low-temperature fuel cells, particularly mass transport within, and stability of, biocatalyzed hydrogel films. He is the recipient of a prestigious CAREER award from the National Science Foundation and a Petroleum Research Fund Award from the American Chemical Society. His research has led to the publication of 30 research papers, six ECS proceedings papers, and two patents. He has led the organization of the "Biological Catalytic Fuel Cells" symposium symposia held at ECS meetings in 2003, 2006, 2008, and 2010.

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