Selective Electrooxidation of Glycerol to Formic Acid over Carbon Supported Ni1- xMx(M = Bi, Pd, and Au) Nanocatalysts and Coelectrolysis of CO2

Mohamed S.E. Houache, Reza Safari, Uzoma O. Nwabara, Thibault Rafaïdeen, Gianluigi A. Botton, Paul J.A. Kenis, Stève Baranton, Christophe Coutanceau, Elena A. Baranova

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The composition effect of carbon supported NixM1-x (M = Bi, Pd, and Au) nanomaterials toward glycerol electrooxidation (GEOR) was evaluated in alkaline media. Ni-rich catalysts with different atomic ratios (M atomic ratio ≤20%) were synthesized by the heatless coreduction method and characterized by various physicochemical and electrochemical techniques. All structures of the NixM1-x/C catalysts were composed of a rich phase of Ni(OH)2, as evidenced by TDA-TGA and XPS. Among the different nanomaterials, the Ni0.9Au0.1/C catalyst provided the lowest onset potential (+0.12 V vs Hg/HgO) and the highest peak current density. In situ infrared spectroscopy experiments combined with electrochemical measurements exhibited the formation of formate for all catalysts, thus indicating the breakage of C-C bonds of glycerol. GEOR led to 100% selectivity for formate after 1 h electrolysis and 100% conversion of glycerol after 24 h at +1.55 V. Furthermore, when these inexpensive catalysts were tested in tandem with cathodic CO2 electroreduction, the anodic Ni0.9Au0.1/C catalyst displayed the highest partial current density for CO and the lowest onset potential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8725-8738
Number of pages14
JournalACS Applied Energy Materials
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 28 2020


  • COelectroreduction
  • Ni-based catalysts
  • electrolysis
  • glycerol
  • selectivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrochemistry
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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