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  1. Abstract Electrochemical oxygen reduction to hydrogen peroxide (H 2 O 2 ) 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 H 2 O 2 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 H 2 O 2 to water. A double-PEM solid electrolyte reactor was further developed to realize a continuous, selective (∼90%) and stable (over 500 hours) generation of H 2 O 2 via implementing this cation effect for practical applications.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2023
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  4. Abstract Oxygen reduction reaction towards hydrogen peroxide (H 2 O 2 ) provides a green alternative route for H 2 O 2 production, but it lacks efficient catalysts to achieve high selectivity and activity simultaneously under industrial-relevant production rates. Here we report a boron-doped carbon (B-C) catalyst which can overcome this activity-selectivity dilemma. Compared to the state-of-the-art oxidized carbon catalyst, B-C catalyst presents enhanced activity (saving more than 210 mV overpotential) under industrial-relevant currents (up to 300 mA cm −2 ) while maintaining high H 2 O 2 selectivity (85–90%). Density-functional theory calculations reveal that the boron dopant site is responsible for high H 2 O 2 activity and selectivity due to low thermodynamic and kinetic barriers. Employed in our porous solid electrolyte reactor, the B-C catalyst demonstrates a direct and continuous generation of pure H 2 O 2 solutions with high selectivity (up to 95%) and high H 2 O 2 partial currents (up to ~400 mA cm −2 ), illustrating the catalyst’s great potential for practical applications in the future.
  5. Electrochemical CO 2 or CO reduction to high-value C 2+ liquid fuels is desirable, but its practical application is challenged by impurities from cogenerated liquid products and solutes in liquid electrolytes, which necessitates cost- and energy-intensive downstream separation processes. By coupling rational designs in a Cu catalyst and porous solid electrolyte (PSE) reactor, here we demonstrate a direct and continuous generation of pure acetic acid solutions via electrochemical CO reduction. With optimized edge-to-surface ratio, the Cu nanocube catalyst presents an unprecedented acetate performance in neutral pH with other liquid products greatly suppressed, delivering a maximal acetate Faradaic efficiency of 43%, partial current of 200 mA⋅cm −2 , ultrahigh relative purity of up to 98 wt%, and excellent stability of over 150 h continuous operation. Density functional theory simulations reveal the role of stepped sites along the cube edge in promoting the acetate pathway. Additionally, a PSE layer, other than a conventional liquid electrolyte, was designed to separate cathode and anode for efficient ion conductions, while not introducing any impurity ions into generated liquid fuels. Pure acetic acid solutions, with concentrations up to 2 wt% (0.33 M), can be continuously produced by employing the acetate-selective Cu catalyst in our PSE reactor.