Rubber muscle actuation with pressurized CO2 from enzyme-catalyzed urea hydrolysis Academic Article uri icon


  • A biologically inspired pneumatic pressure source was designed and sized to supply high pressure CO2(g) to power a rubber muscle actuator. The enzyme urease served to catalyze the hydrolysis of urea, producing CO 2(g) that flowed into the actuator. The actuator's power envelope was quantified by testing actuator response on a custom-built linear-motion rig. Reaction kinetics and available work density were determined by replacing the actuator with a double-action piston and measuring volumetric gas generation against a fixed pressure on the opposing piston. Under the conditions investigated, urease catalyzed the generation of up to 0.81 MPa (117 psi) of CO2(g) in the reactor headspace within 18 min, and the evolved gas produced a maximum work density of 0.65 J ml-1. © 2013 IOP Publishing Ltd.

author list (cited authors)

  • Sutter, T. M., Dickerson, M. B., Creasy, T. S., & Justice, R. S.

citation count

  • 6

publication date

  • September 2013