On-line monitoring of methanol in n-hexane by an organic-phase alcohol biosensor

Xiao Jun Wu, Martin M F CHOI*, Chang Shun Chen, Xiao Min Wu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


An organic-phase alcohol biosensor has been developed by co-entrapping alcohol oxidase and horseradish peroxidase within an ionotropy polymer hydrogel matrix fabricated from silica gel particles, hydroxyethyl carboxymethylcellulose, an adduct of 3-methoxy-4-ethoxybenzaldehyde and 4-tert-butylpyridinium acetohydrazone, and octadecylsilica particles. The viability of the immobilised enzymes for the biocatalytic reaction of methanol in n-hexane was comparatively studied by using a bulk cell or a volume-changeable flow-through cell coupled with an oxygen optical transducer. It was found that the microenvironment around the enzyme, the deterioration property of the enzyme, the substrate throughput and the mass transfer process of the reactant in the bioreactor were the crucial parameters affecting the performance of the alcohol organic-phase biosensor. Our optimal biosensor was constructed from a flow-through cell packed with small particles of immobilised enzymes and it could maintain the biocatalytic reaction at high and stable rate for on-line detection of methanol in n-hexane under flow operation mode. The biosensor had an analytical working range of 2.3-90 mM methanol in n-hexane. The response times (t95) were 4.5 and 7.5 min for 60 and 10 mM methanol, respectively. The operational lifetime of the biosensor was more than 45 assays and the shelf lifetime was longer than 2 weeks. The biosensor has been successfully applied to determine the methanol content in a commercial gasoline-methanol blend sample with good recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1337-1344
Number of pages8
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2007

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrochemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • Alcohol oxidase
  • Biosensor
  • Methanol
  • Organic-phase


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