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BeFC rethinks the way to power disposable electronics

November 2021
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At BeFC - Bioenzymatic Fuel Cells, we have developed a breakthrough innovation that allows the use of enzymes and carbon paper to generate energy through biocatalysis. A result of decades of pioneering research into the bioenzymatic activity and properties of paper materials, the intellectual property is protected by a 4+2 patent portfolio. BeFC is located in the heart of the Alps and is currently being incubated by the Grenoble SATT technology transfer office, Linksium.

There is a growing trend towards point-of-care single-use and single-patient devices. Wearable medical devices, such as continuous glucose monitors, provide patients with hassle-free and non-disruptive monitoring that improves the management of diabetes. Disposable medical devices such as digital pregnancy or ovulation tests provide highly accurate results in a convenient form factor.

The problem is that these devices are typically powered by coin or button cell lithium batteries. Across all the miniature battery chemistries, an average of 97% end up in landfill. For medical applications, the battery also presents additional cost and complexity to the collection and recycling/disposal. Now, imagine how much better our future would be if we could avoid these issues. BeFC has a strong commitment to sustainability, with the goal of replacing conventional batteries in disposable electronic devices with our bioenzymatic fuel cells, as well as providing new opportunities for emerging markets.

Our solution is an ultra-thin and flexible paper-based bioenzymatic fuel cell that uses enzymes to convert glucose from sugar, and oxygen from the air, into electricity. Our products are both metal-free and plastic-free. Being paper-based results in ultra-thin and flexible devices that are particularly attractive for wearable sensors. The device can be activated using a tiny volume of liquid, e.g., tap water, urine, sweat, etc., and within a matter of seconds produce energy. Our bioenzymatic fuel cells produce several milliwatts per square centimeter, enough power for sensors and wireless transmitters, and typically last between a few days to a few weeks, depending on application.

Customer Benefits:

  • Wide range of formats and performances
  • Reduced costs of recycling / disposal
  • Environmentally friendly & non-toxic
  • Ultra-thin
  • Sustainable materials & fuels
  • Metal-free
  • Safe

Contact us at to discuss how BeFC paper biofuel cells can provide a sustainable battery replacement for a range of low-power electronic applications.

Together, power the future with nature. ©

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