Electrochemical oxygen reduction to hydrogen peroxide at practical rates in strong acidic media

Xiao Zhang (Corresponding Author), Xunhua Zhao, Peng Zhu, Zachary Adler, Zhen-Yu Wu, Yuanyue Liu (Corresponding Author), Haotian Wang (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Electrochemical oxygen reduction to hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in acidic media, especially in proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrode assembly reactors, suffers from low selectivity and the lack of low-cost catalysts. Here we present a cation-regulated interfacial engineering approach to promote the H2O2 selectivity (over 80%) under industrial-relevant generation rates (over 400 mA cm−2) in strong acidic media using just carbon black catalyst and a small number of alkali metal cations, representing a 25-fold improvement compared to that without cation additives. Our density functional theory simulation suggests a “shielding effect” of alkali metal cations which squeeze away the catalyst/electrolyte interfacial protons and thus prevent further reduction of generated H2O2 to water. A double-PEM solid electrolyte reactor was further developed to realize a continuous, selective (∼90%) and stable (over 500 hours) generation of H2O2 via implementing this cation effect for practical applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2880
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


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