Electrochemical valorization of carboxylates in aqueous solution for the production of biofuels, fine chemicals, and hydrogen†
Clean energy and renewable fine chemicals including biofuels, hydrogen, and bicarbonates are critical for a sustainable and green future. In this study, the integrated production of naturally separated high density liquid biofuels (mainly C7 and C14 olefins), hydrogen gas, and fine chemicals is achieved in an electrochemical cell under ambient conditions. Biofuels are obtained by anodic decarboxylation of the carboxylates, hydrogen is obtained by cathodic reduction of water, and fine chemicals are obtained by the reaction between the alkaline aqueous solution and the anodic carbon dioxide products. An environmentally friendly and low-cost aqueous substitution method is employed to prepare self-supporting Pt nanospheres on 3D porous titanium sponge (Pt@TS) composite electrodes for such an integrated electrolysis. A Pt@TS anode with abundant Pt(100) facets exhibits enhanced activity and stability for electrocatalytic biofuel production as compared with commercial Pt anodes.