Electrocatalytic biomass valorization using renewable energy is a promising way to produce sustainable and nonfossil-based carbon products. The oxidative upgrading of biomass can be integrated with H2 production in aqueous media.
Yujie Sun, Utah State University, Logan, USA, and colleagues have used low-cost nickel phosphide particles coated on nickel foam (Ni2P/Ni/NF) as bifunctional electrocatalysts for H2 evolution and for the oxidation of furfural to 2-furoic acid under alkaline conditions. Furfural oxidation to 2-furoic acid (pictured) is more favorable thermodynamically and kinetically than water oxidation on Ni2P/Ni/NF. When Ni2P/Ni/NF acted as the electrocatalysts for both the anode and cathode, nearly unity Faradaic efficiencies for both H2 evolution and furfural oxidation were obtained.
Such an integrated electrolysis strategy requires a smaller voltage input while producing two valuable products in contrast to pure water splitting, where the produced O2 has a low market value. This approach may lead to the development of new catalytic systems to extend the coupling of H2 evolution with many other valuable organic oxidation reactions.
- Electrocatalysis of Furfural Oxidation Coupled with H2 Evolution via Nickel-Based Electrocatalysts in Water,
Nan Jiang, Xin Liu, Jinmei Dong, Bo You, Xuan Liu, Yujie Sun,