Electrocatalytic valorisation of biomass derived chemicals
Electrocatalytic conversion of biomass-derived platform chemicals to value-added products can provide an approach to store large scale renewable energy (wind, solar) in chemical bonds. Recently, tremendous efforts have been made in this field. Herein, we discuss some general design principles of electrochemical devices for the conversion of biomass-derived intermediates. We primarily focus on the review of electro-valorisation of glycerol and also summarize the most recent advances in electrochemical conversion of 5-hydroxymethyl-2-furfural (HMF) through oxidation. We emphasize the role of both precious and non-precious metal electrocatalysts in electrocatalytic conversion in various practical electrochemical reactors and how to avoid competing reactions such as hydrogen evolution. We also provide a perspective on future opportunities and challenges in this field, including catalytic materials discovery, mechanism understanding, and system design.