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Recent Advances in the Direct Synthesis of Hydrogen Peroxide Using Chemical Catalysis—A Review

by Sumanth Ranganathan 1 and Volker Sieber 1,2,3,4,*
Chair of Chemistry of Biogenic Resources, Technical University of Munich–Campus Straubing for Biotechnology and Sustainability, Schulgasse 16, 94315 Straubing, Germany
Catalysis Research Center (CRC), Technical University of Munich, Ernst-Otto-Fischer Straße 1, 85748 Garching, Germany
Fraunhofer Institute of Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology (IGB), Bio-, Electro-, and Chemo Catalysis BioCat Branch Straubing, Schulgasse 11a, 94315 Straubing, Germany
School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, The University of Queensland, 68 Copper Road, St. Lucia 4072, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Catalysts 2018, 8(9), 379;
Received: 1 August 2018 / Revised: 26 August 2018 / Accepted: 28 August 2018 / Published: 5 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Direct Synthesis of Hydrogen Peroxide)
Hydrogen peroxide is an important chemical of increasing demand in today’s world. Currently, the anthraquinone autoxidation process dominates the industrial production of hydrogen peroxide. Herein, hydrogen and oxygen are reacted indirectly in the presence of quinones to yield hydrogen peroxide. Owing to the complexity and multi-step nature of the process, it is advantageous to replace the process with an easier and straightforward one. The direct synthesis of hydrogen peroxide from its constituent reagents is an effective and clean route to achieve this goal. Factors such as water formation due to thermodynamics, explosion risk, and the stability of the hydrogen peroxide produced hinder the applicability of this process at an industrial level. Currently, the catalysis for the direct synthesis reaction is palladium based and the research into finding an effective and active catalyst has been ongoing for more than a century now. Palladium in its pure form, or alloyed with certain metals, are some of the new generation of catalysts that are extensively researched. Additionally, to prevent the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide to water, the process is stabilized by adding certain promoters such as mineral acids and halides. A major part of today’s research in this field focusses on the reactor and the mode of operation required for synthesizing hydrogen peroxide. The emergence of microreactor technology has helped in setting up this synthesis in a continuous mode, which could possibly replace the anthraquinone process in the near future. This review will focus on the recent findings of the scientific community in terms of reaction engineering, catalyst and reactor design in the direct synthesis of hydrogen peroxide. View Full-Text
Keywords: catalyst; direct synthesis; hydrogen peroxide; Pd based catalyst; reactor engineering; microreactor catalyst; direct synthesis; hydrogen peroxide; Pd based catalyst; reactor engineering; microreactor
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Ranganathan, S.; Sieber, V. Recent Advances in the Direct Synthesis of Hydrogen Peroxide Using Chemical Catalysis—A Review. Catalysts 2018, 8, 379.

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