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)

Abstract

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
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes

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