Electro-Fenton magic makes methane the new environmental fuel hero

Researchers have realized the electrochemical conversion of CH4 and O2 to HCOOH at room temperature. Credit: JACS

A Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics team has made a breakthrough in converting methane to formic acid. acid Using oxygen at room temperature through the high-pressure E-Fenton process achieves significantly higher efficiency and productivity than traditional methods.

Direct conversion of methane (CH4) and oxygen (O2) are important value-added chemicals for natural gas industries. However, there are challenges due to the difficulty of O2 Activation in the formation of active oxygen species For CH4 Activation under mild conditions.

Recently, a research team led by Prof. Dehui Deng, Assoc. Professor from the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). Xiaoju Qi and Liang Yu realized the electrochemical transformation of CH.4 By O2 to formic acid (HCOOH) at room temp. This study was published Journal of the American Chemical Society.

The researchers developed a high-pressure electro-Fenton strategy to establish a heterogeneous-homogeneous process for the electro-catalytic conversion of CH.4 By O2 At room temperature. They are CH4 · Efficiently activated by OH, it was produced by heteroelectronization of O2 H2oh2 On the Ag foil cathode, homogeneous Fe2+– Simplified H2oh2 Decomposition.

Besides, the researchers found that higher pressure not only improves the productivity of H2oh2 From O2 E-reduction but increased reaction collision probability between CH4 and active ·OH formed from in-situ Fe2+– Easy decomposition of H2oh2.

Compared to traditional electro-catalytic CH4 A conversion process with high potential (>0.9 V) and low faradaic efficiency (<60%), the high-pressure e-Fenton process achieved an HCOOH faradaic efficiency of 81.4% with an ultra-low cathodic overpotential of 0.38 V. HCOOH productivity was 11.5 mmol h-1 gFe-1It was 220 times the ambient pressure.

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„This work provides a new route for energy-efficient and sustainable conversion of CH4 By using O directly2 under mild conditions,” said Professor Deng.

Reference: “High Pressure Electro-Fenton Driving CH4 Conversion by O2 at Room Temperature” by Yao Chang, Xiao Yang, Huan Liu, Suxia Liang, Yafeng Cai, Wenqiang Yang, Caixin Zhu, Liang Yu, Xiaozhu Gui, and Denggui Denggui January 2024, Journal of the American Chemical Society.
DOI: 10.1021/jacs.3c10825

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