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A versatile single-copper-atom electrocatalyst for biomass valorization

DOI: 10.1016/j.apcatb.2022.122218 DOI Help

Authors: Yongfang Zhou (South China University of Technology) , Thomas J. A. Slater (Diamond Light Source) , Xuanli Luo (University of Nottingham) , Yi Shen (South China University of Technology; Overseas Expertise Introduction Center for Discipline Innovation of Food Nutrition and Human Health (111 Center); China-Singapore International Joint Research Institute)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Applied Catalysis B: Environmental , VOL 324

State: Published (Approved)
Published: November 2022
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 23723 , 17198

Abstract: Single atom electrocatalysts (SAECs) exhibit intriguing catalytic performance due to their utmost atom-utilization efficiency and unique electronic structure. However, the application of SAECs is limited on simple reactions such as the hydrogen/oxygen evolution reactions, and oxygen/nitrogen reduction reactions. Herein, single copper atoms supported on nitrogen doped carbon nanosheets (Cu/NCNSs) were demonstrated as a versatile SAEC for biomass upgrade. The activity of Cu/NCNSs was benchmarked against commercial Cu nanoparticles. Twelve basic platform compounds including 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), furfural, glucose, formaldehyde, methanol, ethanol, isopropanol, ethylene glycol, glycerol, benzyl alcohol, formic acid, and oxalic acid were employed as substrates. The products of electro-oxidation of these substrates were analyzed by high performance liquid chromatography. The reaction pathways and mechanisms of substrate oxidation on Cu/NCNSs and Cu NPs were explored by in-situ electrochemical Raman spectra. HMF oxidation on Cu NPs followed the 5-diformylfuran (DFF) path at lower potentials, while it turned to 5-hydroxymethyl-2-furancarboxylic acid path at applied potentials over 1.67 V. For Cu/NCNSs, HMF oxidation followed the alcohol hydroxyl oxidation pathway, that is, the direction of generating DFF. The active sites for substrate oxidation on Cu/NCNSs are different from those on Cu NPs. This work broadened the application of SAECs in the field of biomass upgrade, and paved a new route to fabricate advanced electrocatalysts for biomass valorization.

Diamond Keywords: Biofuel

Subject Areas: Chemistry, Energy, Environment

Diamond Offline Facilities: Electron Physical Sciences Imaging Centre (ePSIC)
Instruments: B18-Core EXAFS , E01-JEM ARM 200CF

Added On: 30/11/2022 10:15

Discipline Tags:

Bioenergy Earth Sciences & Environment Sustainable Energy Systems Energy Climate Change Physical Chemistry Catalysis Chemistry

Technical Tags:

Microscopy Spectroscopy Electron Microscopy (EM) Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDX) X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS) Extended X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (EXAFS)