Kinetically restrained oxygen reduction to hydrogen peroxide with nearly 100% selectivity

Nat Commun. 2022 May 23;13(1):2808. doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-30411-7.


Hydrogen peroxide has been synthesized mainly through the electrocatalytic and photocatalytic oxygen reduction reaction in recent years. Herein, we synthesize a single-atom rhodium catalyst (Rh1/NC) to mimic the properties of flavoenzymes for the synthesis of hydrogen peroxide under mild conditions. Rh1/NC dehydrogenates various substrates and catalyzes the reduction of oxygen to hydrogen peroxide. The maximum hydrogen peroxide production rate is 0.48 mol gcatalyst-1 h-1 in the phosphorous acid aerobic oxidation reaction. We find that the selectivity of oxygen reduction to hydrogen peroxide can reach 100%. This is because a single catalytic site of Rh1/NC can only catalyze the removal of two electrons per substrate molecule; thus, the subsequent oxygen can only obtain two electrons to reduce to hydrogen peroxide through the typical two-electron pathway. Similarly, due to the restriction of substrate dehydrogenation, the hydrogen peroxide selectivity in commercial Pt/C-catalyzed enzymatic reactions can be found to reach 75%, which is 30 times higher than that in electrocatalytic oxygen reduction reactions.

PMID:35606351 | PMC:PMC9127111 | DOI:10.1038/s41467-022-30411-7


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