Nat Commun. 2023 Jan 10;14(1):142. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-35875-9.
Photoelectrochemical reaction is emerging as a powerful approach for biomass conversion. However, it has been rarely explored for glucose conversion into value-added chemicals. Here we develop a photoelectrochemical approach for selective oxidation of glucose to high value-added glucaric acid by using single-atom Pt anchored on defective TiO2 nanorod arrays as photoanode. The defective structure induced by the oxygen vacancies can modulate the charge carrier dynamics and band structure, simultaneously. With optimized oxygen vacancies, the defective TiO2 photoanode shows greatly improved charge separation and significantly enhanced selectivity and yield of C6 products. By decorating single-atom Pt on the defective TiO2 photoanode, selective oxidation of glucose to glucaric acid can be achieved. In this work, defective TiO2 with single-atom Pt achieves a photocurrent density of 1.91 mA cm-2 for glucose oxidation at 0.6 V versus reversible hydrogen electrode, leading to an 84.3 % yield of glucaric acid under simulated sunlight irradiation.