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Hydrogen Peroxide Generation with 100% Faradaic Efficiency on Metal-Free Carbon Black

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journal contribution
posted on 09.02.2021, 17:07 by Zhe Wang, Qin-Kun Li, Chenhao Zhang, Zhihua Cheng, Weiyin Chen, Emily A. McHugh, Robert A. Carter, Boris I. Yakobson, James M. Tour
Electrochemical oxygen reduction to hydrogen peroxide is now being studied as a promising renewable and localized alternative for the traditional complex anthraquinone process. Catalysts for this two-electron reduction pathway with high selectivity are required to achieve industrialization. Here, we disclose an inexpensive metal-free catalyst that is synthesized from commercial carbon black (CB) with a one-step plasma method for the affordable electrochemical generation of hydrogen peroxide in 100% Faradaic efficiency. This catalyst shows a high onset potential (0.1 mA cm–2 at 0.80 V vs reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE)) and the highest mass activity (300 A g–1 at 0.60 V vs reversible hydrogen electrode) among state-of-the-art catalysts. The performance could be maintained after the removal of oxygen-containing groups. Microscopic and spectroscopic characterizations as well as density functional theory (DFT) calculations indicate that the performance comes from the defective structure after plasma treatment.