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Open AccessArticle

Biochar from Brewers’ Spent Grain: A Green and Low-Cost Smart Material to Modify Screen-Printed Electrodes

1
Department of Chemical Sciences and Technologies, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Via della Ricerca Scientifica, 00133 Rome, Italy
2
CREA, Research Centre for Olive, Citrus and Tree Fruit, Via di Fioranello 52, 00134 Rome, Italy
3
CREA Research Centre for Engineering and Agro-Food Processing, Via Della Pascolare 16, Monterotondo, 00015 Rome, Italy
4
Engineering Department, University of Rome “Niccolò Cusano”, Via Don Carlo Gnocchi 3, 00166 Rome, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Biosensors 2019, 9(4), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios9040139
Received: 4 October 2019 / Revised: 23 November 2019 / Accepted: 27 November 2019 / Published: 3 December 2019
In the present study, biochar from brewers’ spent grain was used, for the first time, to develop screen-printed electrodes. After having investigated the dispersion behaviour of biochar in different organic solvents, a biochar-based screen-printed electrode was prepared with the drop-casting technique. In order to understand the electrochemical potentiality and performances of the biochar/sensor tool, different electroactive species, i.e., ferricyanide, benzoquinone, epinephrine, ascorbic, and uric acids, were used. The results were compared with those of the same electrodes that were modified with commercial graphene, confirming that the proposed electrode showed improved electrochemical behaviour in terms of resolution, peak-to-peak separation, current intensity, and resistance to charge transfer. Furthermore, a tyrosinase biosensor was developed by direct immobilisation of this enzyme on the biochar/screen printed electrode, as an example of the potential of biochar for disposable biosensor development. The efficiently occurred immobilisation of the biochar on the screen printed electrode’s (SPE’s) surface was demonstrated by the observation of the working electrode with a scanning electron microscope. The detection was performed by measuring the current due to the reduction of the corresponding quinone at low potential, equal to −0.310 V for epinephrine. The experimental conditions for the tyrosinase immobilization and the analytical parameters, such as applied potential and pH of buffer, were studied and optimized. Under these conditions, the electrochemical biosensors were characterized. A linear working range of epinephrine was obtained from 0.05 up to 0.5 mM. The detection limit was 2 × 10−4 mM for the biosensor. View Full-Text
Keywords: brewers’ spent grain; biochar; screen-printed electrode; biosensor; tyrosinase brewers’ spent grain; biochar; screen-printed electrode; biosensor; tyrosinase
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cancelliere, R.; Carbone, K.; Pagano, M.; Cacciotti, I.; Micheli, L. Biochar from Brewers’ Spent Grain: A Green and Low-Cost Smart Material to Modify Screen-Printed Electrodes. Biosensors 2019, 9, 139.

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