The Brillance of Ingenuity

CFDRC Developing Paper-Based Bio-Battery™ with Air Force Research Labs

CFDRC Developing Paper-Based Bio-Battery™ with Air Force Research Labs

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. September 17, 2013 - CFD Research Corporation has been awarded a $750k research contract from the Air Force to further advance their patented Bio-Battery™ technology. While already demonstrating record setting performance for an enzymatic fuel cell operating on glucose, the new efforts focus on extending the platform to more fuel choices and developing a novel paper-based passive fuel pumping system.

Recently, CFDRC was able to demonstrate a new multi-enzymatic electrode capable of selectively oxidizing sugars or alcohols. “Latest progress in this research allowed us to achieve greater fuel flexibility, signifying that our fuel cell can generate power from a variety of readily available fuel sources, an important feature for remote, off-grid applications,” said Jenny Ulyanova, Principal Investigator. CFDRC will continue to advance enzymatic catalyst technologies to accommodate a greater variety of fuels and allow deeper utilization of fuels, a key to extracting the most energy possible and increasing the efficiency of the Bio-Battery.

CFDRC is also incorporating a low-cost and flexible, paper-based passive fuel pumping system, based on technology developed by Prof. Plamen Atanassov at the University of New Mexico, a project partner. “Because the Bio-Battery operates as a fuel cell it can run indefinitely if a small amount of fuel can be continuously supplied to the system,” said Sameer Singhal, Program Manager. “The paper-based pumping system is ideal for this application because it uses capillary wicking and therefore no parasitic power is needed to supply fresh fuel to the system.”

The fully integrated system will meet a critical need in many small, mobile military and commercial systems, which are typically limited by batteries, and their inconvenient replacement/recharge requirements.  By utilizing fuel sources which have ten times higher energy density than traditional battery materials, the Bio-Battery will be appropriate for a wide range of low power and long duration applications for example in remote monitoring, sensing, and surveillance. The technology has also been demonstrated as an implantable power source operating on sugar in the bodily fluids of living organisms, a first step toward powering implantable medical devices.

The Bio-Battery has been featured nationally on Bloomberg TV and in The Economist magazine as well as locally at TEDx-Huntsville. CFDRC has been developing the Bio-Battery since 2004 through highly-competitive federal contracts and industrial collaborations. Additional information can be found by visiting


CFD Research Corporation develops and commercializes innovative technologies for Biomedical, Energy, and Aerospace markets. CFDRC, founded in 1987, is headquartered in Huntsville, Alabama.


Richard Thoms 
Manager, Technology Partnerships 

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