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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 29, 2024
  2. 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. 
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  3. Abstract. Irrigation has important implications for sustaining global food production by enabling crop water demand to be met even under dry conditions.Added water also cools crop plants through transpiration; irrigation mightthus play an important role in a warmer climate by simultaneously moderating water and high temperature stresses. Here we used satellite-derived evapotranspiration estimates, land surface temperature (LST) measurements, and crop phenological stage information from Nebraska maize to quantify how irrigation relieves both water and temperature stresses. Unlike air temperature metrics, satellite-derived LST revealed a significant irrigation-induced cooling effect, especially during the grain filling period (GFP) of crop growth. This cooling appeared to extend the maize growing season, especially for GFP, likely due to the stronger temperature sensitivity of phenological development during this stage. Our analysis also revealed that irrigation not only reduced water and temperature stress but also weakened the response of yield to these stresses. Specifically, temperature stress was significantly weakened for reproductive processes in irrigated maize. Attribution analysis further suggested that water and high temperature stress alleviation was responsible for 65±10 % and 35±5.3 % of the irrigation yield benefit, respectively. Our study underlines the relative importance of high temperature stress alleviation in yield improvement and the necessity of simulating crop surface temperature to better quantify heat stress effects in crop yield models. Finally, considering the potentially strong interaction between water and heat stress, future research on irrigation benefits should explore the interaction effects between heat and drought alleviation. 
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  4. null (Ed.)
    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. 
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