FOR 2982: UNODE - Unusual Anode Reactions

Type of Funding: DFG Programmes, Research Units

A future sustainable energy system based on hydrogen is unavoidable. This energy storage system will definitely be produced by electrolysis. However, the oxygen evolution reaction in water electrolysis still poses a challenge. Due to the high overvoltage, this reaction consumes a substantial part of the electrical power. Alternative anodic reactions, which do not release oxygen but produce useful platform chemicals, are an innovative alternative to oxygen evolution. To achieve this goal, two complementary strategies are pursued. i) The development of electrochemical oxidation reactions with high technical relevance such as the anodic functionalization of methane, the oxidation of alcohols, specifically glycerol to form lactic acid, the oxidation of hydroxymethylfurfural to form the platform chemical 2,5-furan dicarboxylic acid, and the oxidation of amines to amine-N-oxides. (ii) Alternatively, oxidation equivalents are formed anodically, which can be used at a later stage for different chemical transformations. This strategy avoids the selectivity problems of complex molecules at the anode. General concepts for universal applications are obtained, which should help to compensate for fluctuations in the supply of electric current, since these oxidants can be stored. In order to address these challenges in a knowledge-based way, specific methods for investigation such as operando electrochemistry/spectroscopy and the influence of electrode morphology are addressed. This research group will bridge the gap between the basics of organic electrochemistry and electrocatalysis in preparative electrolysis including first steps of upscaling.

Contact Person at UA Ruhr:
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schuhmann, Ruhr-Universität Bochum

UA Ruhr Researchers:
Prof. Dr. Corina Andronescu, University of Duisburg-Essen
Prof. Dr. Malte Behrens, University of Duisburg-Essen
Prof. Dr. Martin Muhler, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Prof. Dr. Ferdi Schüth, Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung

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