Electrocatalytic Biomass Valorization Integrated with Hydrogen Production

Wednesday, 4 October 2017: 09:00
Chesapeake 12 (Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center)
Y. Sun (Utah State University)
Electrocatalytic water splitting has been widely considered as a promising approach to produce clean hydrogen (H2). The anodic half reaction of water splitting, O2 evolution reaction (OER), is the kinetic bottleneck of the overall water splitting process while its product O2 does not possess high market value. A novel strategy to replace OER with thermodynamically more favorable anodic reactions, such as the oxidative valorization of biomass-derived intermediates, represents an attractive approach, which not only reduces the overall voltage input but also produces two valuable products (H2 and biomass products) at both electrodes. This talk will present our recent work in electrocatalytic biomass valorization integrated with H2 production under ambient conditions. A series of biomass-derived intermediates, including 5-hdyroxymethylfurfural, furfural, furfuryl alcohol, and benzyl alcohol, were employed as representative organic substrates to be oxidized to value-added acids. 1st-row transition metal-based electrocatalysts were developed to catalyze biomass oxidation and H2 evolution. Results of long-term electrolysis demonstrated the bifunctionality of our electrocatalysts and nearly 100% Faradaic efficiencies for both H2 production and biomass oxidation reactions.