Selective methanol-to-formate electrocatalytic conversion on branched nickel carbide
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A methanol economy will be favored by the availability of low-cost catalysts able to selectively oxidize methanol to formate. This selective oxidation would allow extraction of the largest part of the fuel energy while concurrently producing a chemical with even higher commercial value than the fuel itself. Herein, we present a highly active methanol electrooxidation catalyst based on abundant elements and with an optimized structure to simultaneously maximize interaction with the electrolyte and mobility of charge carriers. In situ infrared spectroscopy combined with nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy showed that branched nickel carbide particles are the first catalyst determined to have nearly 100¿% electrochemical conversion of methanol to formate without generating detectable CO2 as a byproduct. Electrochemical kinetics analysis revealed the optimized reaction conditions and the electrode delivered excellent activities. This work provides a straightforward and cost-efficient way for the conversion of organic small molecules and the first direct evidence of a selective formate reaction pathway.
CitationWang, X. [et al.]. Selective methanol-to-formate electrocatalytic conversion on branched nickel carbide. "Angewandte chemie. International edition", 16 Novembre 2020, vol. 59, núm. 47, p. 20826-20830-20830.