Design of bifunctional electrodes for co-generation of electrical power and hydrogen peroxide
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We present a method of co-generating hydrogen peroxide and electrical power via the two-electron cathodic reduction of oxygen in a H2/O2 proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). The cell uses a continuous flow of carrier water through its cathodic chamber to remove the hydrogen peroxide product at a neutral pH. To improve the co-generation of electric power and hydrogen peroxide, a number of different cathode configurations, using both four- and two-electron oxygen reducing electrocatalysts, were constructed and examined. With a bifunctional cathode structure consisting of side-by-side carbon-supported Pt– and Co–C-based catalyst layers, and a carbon-based micro-porous layer (MPL), a hydrogen peroxide generation flux of 8 µmol h−1 cm−2 is achieved. The corresponding power density is about 133 mW cm−2. The co-generation of power and hydrogen peroxide could be used in a variety of applications, including the on-site production of hydrogen peroxide for water treatment by advanced oxidation processes.
KeywordsHydrogen peroxide electrosynthesis PEM fuel cell Oxygen electrode Neutral pH
Funding for this work has been provided by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) through the NSERC Strategic Res’Eau WaterNet program (NSERC NETGP 364635-07).
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