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Issue 23, 2012
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The dual pathway in action: decoupling parallel routes for CO2 production during the oscillatory electro-oxidation of methanol

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Abstract

As in the case of most small organic molecules, the electro-oxidation of methanol to CO2 is believed to proceed through a so-called dual pathway mechanism. The direct pathway proceeds via reactive intermediates such as formaldehyde or formic acid, whereas the indirect pathway occurs in parallel, and proceeds via the formation of adsorbed carbon monoxide (COad). Despite the extensive literature on the electro-oxidation of methanol, no study to date distinguished the production of CO2 from direct and indirect pathways. Working under, far-from-equilibrium, oscillatory conditions, we were able to decouple, for the first time, the direct and indirect pathways that lead to CO2 during the oscillatory electro-oxidation of methanol on platinum. The CO2 production was followed by differential electrochemical mass spectrometry and the individual contributions of parallel pathways were identified by a combination of experiments and numerical simulations. We believe that our report opens some perspectives, particularly as a methodology to be used to identify the role played by surface modifiers in the relative weight of both pathways—a key issue to the effective development of catalysts for low temperature fuel cells.

Graphical abstract: The dual pathway in action: decoupling parallel routes for CO2 production during the oscillatory electro-oxidation of methanol

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Publication details

The article was received on 05 Jan 2012, accepted on 16 Feb 2012 and first published on 17 Feb 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2CP00037G
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2012,14, 8294-8298
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    The dual pathway in action: decoupling parallel routes for CO2 production during the oscillatory electro-oxidation of methanol

    R. Nagao, D. A. Cantane, F. H. B. Lima and H. Varela, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2012, 14, 8294
    DOI: 10.1039/C2CP00037G

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