Stabilizer-free bismuth nanoparticles for selective polyol electrooxidation

Weiran Zheng, Yong Li, Chui Shan Tsang, Pui Kin So, Lawrence Yoon Suk Lee (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Bismuth is the least toxic element among heavy metals, an outstanding advantage for environmental and health considerations. Yet, utilizing bismuth as anodic electrocatalyst is hindered by the formation of a spreading Bi(OH)3 inhibitor layer during the anodic process. Herein, we report that bismuth nanoparticles, produced using laser ablation, can avoid such drawbacks. The production of Bi(V) species assists polyol electrooxidation. For glucose, instead of the commonly reported gluconic acid as the product, the Bi(V) species enables highly selective oxidation and C–C bond cleavage to produce arabinonic acid, erythronic acid, and eventually glyceric acid. We not only generate high-valent Bi(V) species for catalytic applications, especially for bioelectrocatalysis where the less toxic bismuth is highly appreciated, but also present Bi nanoparticle as a highly selective electrocatalyst that can break C–C bond. We believe that Bi electrocatalyst can find broader applications in electrochemical biomass conversion and electrosynthesis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102342
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2021


  • Catalysis
  • Electrochemistry
  • Materials Science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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