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Chloride-mediated selective electrosynthesis of ethylene and propylene oxides at high current density.

Science (New York, N.Y.) (2020-06-13)
Wan Ru Leow, Yanwei Lum, Adnan Ozden, Yuhang Wang, Dae-Hyun Nam, Bin Chen, Joshua Wicks, Tao-Tao Zhuang, Fengwang Li, David Sinton, Edward H Sargent
ABSTRACT

Chemicals manufacturing consumes large amounts of energy and is responsible for a substantial portion of global carbon emissions. Electrochemical systems that produce the desired compounds by using renewable electricity offer a route to lower carbon emissions in the chemicals sector. Ethylene oxide is among the world's most abundantly produced commodity chemicals because of its importance in the plastics industry, notably for manufacturing polyesters and polyethylene terephthalates. We applied an extended heterogeneous:homogeneous interface, using chloride as a redox mediator at the anode, to facilitate the selective partial oxidation of ethylene to ethylene oxide. We achieved current densities of 1 ampere per square centimeter, Faradaic efficiencies of ~70%, and product specificities of ~97%. When run at 300 milliamperes per square centimeter for 100 hours, the system maintained a 71(±1)% Faradaic efficiency throughout.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Sulfuric acid, 99.999%
Sigma-Aldrich
TEMPO, 98%