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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2024
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2024
  3. Abstract

    Deoxygenation of aldehydes and their tautomers to alkenes and alkanes has implications in refining biomass-derived fuels for use as transportation fuel. Electrochemical deoxygenation in ambient, aqueous solution is also a potential green synthesis strategy for terminal olefins. In this manuscript, direct electrochemical conversion of vinyl alcohol and acetaldehyde on polycrystalline Cu to ethanol, ethylene and ethane; and propenol and propionaldehyde to propanol, propene and propane is reported. Sensitive detection was achieved using a rotating disk electrode coupled with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. In-situ attenuated total reflection surface-enhanced infrared absorption spectroscopy, and in-situ Raman spectroscopy confirmed the adsorption of the vinyl alcohol. Calculations using canonical and grand-canonical density functional theory and experimental findings suggest that the rate-determining step for ethylene and ethane formation is an electron transfer step to the adsorbed vinyl alcohol. Finally, we extend our conclusions to the enol reaction from higher-order soluble aldehyde and ketone. The products observed from the reduction reaction also sheds insights into plausible reaction pathways of CO2to C2and C3products.

     
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  4. La 0.7 Sr 0.2 Ni 0.2 Fe 0.8 O 3 (LSNF), having thermochemical stability, superior ionic and electronic conductivity, and structural flexibility, was investigated as a cathode in SOECs. Exsolution of nanoparticles by reduction of LSNF at elevated temperatures can modulate the characteristics of adsorption, electron transfer, and oxidation states of catalytically active atoms, consequently improving the electrocatalytic activity. The exsolution of NiFe and La 2 NiO 4 nanoparticles to the surface of LSNF under reducing atmosphere (5% H 2 /N 2 ) was verified at various temperatures (500–800 °C) by IFFT from ETEM, TPR and in situ XRD. The exsolved nanoparticles obtained uniform size distribution (4.2–9.2 nm) and dispersion (1.31 to 0.61 × 10 4 particle per μm 2 ) depending on the reduction temperature (700–800 °C) and time (0–10 h). The reoxidation of the reduced LSNF (Red-LSNF) was verified by the XRD patterns, indicative of its redox ability, which allows for redistribution of the nanoparticles between the surface and the bulk. TPD-DRIFTS analysis demonstrated that Red-LSNF had superior H 2 O and CO 2 adsorption behavior as compared to unreduced LSNF, which we attributed to the abundance of oxygen vacancy sites and the exsolved NiFe and La 2 NiO 4 nanoparticles. After the reduction of LSNF, the decreases in the oxidation states of the catalytically active ions, Fe and Ni, were characterized on the surface by XPS as well as in the bulk by XANES. The electrochemical performance of the Red-LSNF cell was superior to that of the LSNF cell for electrolysis of H 2 O, CO 2 , and H 2 O/CO 2 . 
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  5. Here, we demonstrate that small molecules such as H2, CO, HCOOand their mixtures, generated from the electroreduction of CO2(CO2RR), can be detected and quantified on a rotating ring-disc electrode (RRDE). We describe a series of systematic calibration protocol to quantify CO2RR products on four model electrocatalysts (Pt, Au, Sn, [NiII(cyclam)]2+). In an RRDE assembly, products generated at the disc are convectively transported and detected at the ring detector before diffusing into the bulk solution, circumventing the need for product pre-concentration. As the electrochemical fingerprints of these small molecules and their mixtures on the Pt detector are unique, RRDE also excludes the need for separation. Thus, using the rotating ring detector significantly minimizes the time delay between product generation and detection compared to conventional techniques such as GC, LC and NMR. An RRDE allows faster screening of catalysts that can help accelerate catalyst discovery for CO2RR. It also enables time-dependent mechanistic studies of CO2RR catalysis.

     
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