Special Issue "Electrocatalysis in Energy and Green Chemistry"

A special issue of Catalysts (ISSN 2073-4344). This special issue belongs to the section "Electrocatalysis".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 May 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Rosa Arrigo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Science, Engineering and Environment, University of Salford, Manchester M5 4WT, United Kingdom
Interests: Catalysis; Electrocatalysis; Catalysts synthesis; In situ and operando spectroscopy; Nanocarbons for catalytic application; Structural characterization; Energy research
Dr. Sara Pérez Rodríguez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Instituto de Carboquímica-CSIC, Calle Miguel Luesma Castán, 4, 50018, Zaragoza, Spain
Interests: PEM fuel cells; CO2 electroreduction; Electrochemistry Materials; Nanomaterials; Nanostructured carbon materials; Heterogeneous catalysts; Catalyst Characterization; Catalyst Synthesis; Porous Materials

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Electro-catalysis lies at the core of energy storage and conversion devices and electrode design is a key-enabler of these technologies. An electrode is a multi-components system where specific physicochemical properties such as redox and acid/base properties, hydrophobic/hydrophilic characteristics, surface area and electrical conductivity operate concertedly to enable a reaction to occur efficiently. Not only the nature, nuclearity and morphology of the active phase, but also other factors significantly modify the performances of the electrode. Amongst others, support effects, promoters and more recently ligands effects in single metal atom/organic hybrid systems have been investigated for fine-tuning of the activity and selectivity. Additionally, the “electrode prehistory”, in terms of the synthetic methods and the materials used for the electrode preparation, has also a significant influence on performances.

This Special Issue aims to cover recent trends and progresses in the development of electrocatalysts for electro-catalytic applications including, but not limited to, the carbon dioxide reduction, hydrogen evolution reaction, oxygen reduction and evolution reactions and ammonia synthesis. The goal of this issue is to provide the readership with a collection of articles in which emphasis is placed not only on the discovery of new active materials and/or electrode preparation but also on the understanding of the nanostructural and chemical characteristic of the electrodes responsible for improved performance.

Dr. Rosa Arrigo
Dr. Sara Pérez Rodríguez
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Catalysts is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Single-atom electro-catalysis
  • Metal-Carbon based electro-catalysis
  • Heteroatom functionalized carbon
  • Non-precious electrocatalysts
  • Carbides and nitrides electrocatalysts

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Investigations of Carbon Nitride-Supported Mn3O4 Oxide Nanoparticles for ORR
Catalysts 2020, 10(11), 1289; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal10111289 - 06 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 694
Abstract
Earth-abundant Mn-based oxide nanoparticles are supported on carbon nitride using two different immobilization methods and tested for the oxygen reduction reaction. Compared to the metal free CN, the immobilization of Mn oxide enhances not only the electrocatalytic activity but also the selectivity towards [...] Read more.
Earth-abundant Mn-based oxide nanoparticles are supported on carbon nitride using two different immobilization methods and tested for the oxygen reduction reaction. Compared to the metal free CN, the immobilization of Mn oxide enhances not only the electrocatalytic activity but also the selectivity towards the 4e- reduction reaction of O2 to H2O. The XPS analysis reveals the interaction of the pyridine N species with Mn3O4 nanoparticles being particularly beneficial. This interaction is realized—although to a limited extent—when preparing the catalysts via impregnation; via the oleic acid route it is not observed. Whilst this work shows the potential of these systems to catalyze the ORR, the main limiting factor is still the poor conductivity of the support which leads to overpotential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrocatalysis in Energy and Green Chemistry)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Ordered Mesoporous Carbon as a Support of Pd Catalysts for CO2 Electrochemical Reduction
Catalysts 2020, 10(8), 912; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal10080912 - 10 Aug 2020
Viewed by 665
Abstract
Ordered mesoporous carbons (OMCs) have been used as catalyst supports of Pd nanoparticles for the electrochemical reduction of CO2 in 0.1 M KHCO3. OMC with tunable porosity and morphology were obtained by the hard-template approach using synthesized SBA-15 templates. SBA-15 [...] Read more.
Ordered mesoporous carbons (OMCs) have been used as catalyst supports of Pd nanoparticles for the electrochemical reduction of CO2 in 0.1 M KHCO3. OMC with tunable porosity and morphology were obtained by the hard-template approach using synthesized SBA-15 templates. SBA-15 materials were prepared using a mass ratio of the silica precursor (TEOS) and the surfactant (P123) of 2 or 5. After removing silica particles by a purification treatment with NaOH-ethanol or HF, different OMCs were obtained, with a developed porosity (up to 1050 m2 g−1) and ordered 2D hexagonal mesostructure (p6 mm). An increase in the TEOS/P123 ratio as well as the treatment with HF resulted in a decrease in the structural ordering of the materials. Pd nanoparticles with an average size of around 3 nm were deposited on the OMC. However, larger nanoparticles were also observed, especially for the materials obtained using a mass ratio TEOS/P123 of 5. Despite these differences, electrochemical experiments showed that CO2 was successfully reduced to other species (mainly COad) for all Pd/OMC electrocatalysts. These reduced species were adsorbed on Pd active sites, inhibiting the hydrogen evolution reaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrocatalysis in Energy and Green Chemistry)
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Open AccessArticle
Simple Environmentally-Friendly Reduction of 4-Nitrophenol
Catalysts 2020, 10(4), 458; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal10040458 - 23 Apr 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 821
Abstract
The low molecular-mass organic compound 4-nitrophenol is involved in many chemical processes and is commonly present in soils and in surface and ground waters, thereby causing severe environmental impact and health risk. Several methods have been proposed for its transformation (bio and chemical [...] Read more.
The low molecular-mass organic compound 4-nitrophenol is involved in many chemical processes and is commonly present in soils and in surface and ground waters, thereby causing severe environmental impact and health risk. Several methods have been proposed for its transformation (bio and chemical degradation). However, these strategies not only produce equally or more toxic aromatic species but also require harsh operating conditions and/or time-consuming treatments. In this context, we report a comprehensive and systematic study of the electrochemical reduction of 4-nitrophenol as a viable alternative. We have explored the electrochemical reduction of this pollutant over different metallic and carbonaceous substrata. Specifically, we have focused on the use of gold and silver working electrodes since they combine a high electrocatalytic activity for 4-nitrophenol reduction and a low electrocatalytic capacity for hydrogen evolution. The influence of the pH, temperature, and applied potential have also been considered as crucial parameters in the overall optimization of the process. While acidic media and high temperatures favor the clean reduction of 4-nitrophenol to 4-aminophenol, the simultaneous hydrogen evolution is pernicious for this purpose. Herein, a simple and effective electrochemical method for the transformation of 4-nitrophenol into 4-aminophenol is proposed with virtually no undesired by-products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrocatalysis in Energy and Green Chemistry)
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Open AccessCommunication
Plasma-Deposited Ru-Based Thin Films for Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting
Catalysts 2020, 10(3), 278; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal10030278 - 01 Mar 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 876
Abstract
Plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) was used to produce new Ru-based thin catalytic films. The surface molecular structure of the films was examined by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). To determine the electro- and photoelectrochemical properties, the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) process was investigated [...] Read more.
Plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) was used to produce new Ru-based thin catalytic films. The surface molecular structure of the films was examined by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). To determine the electro- and photoelectrochemical properties, the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) process was investigated by linear sweep voltammetry (LSV) at pH = 13.6. It was found that Ru atoms were mainly in the metallic state (Ru0) in the as-deposited films, whereas after the electrochemical stabilization, higher oxidation states, mainly Ru+4 (RuO2), were formed. The stabilized films exhibited high catalytic activity in OER—for the electrochemical process, the onset and η10 overpotentials were approx. 220 and 350 mV, respectively, while for the photoelectrochemical process, the pure photocurrent density of about 160 mA/cm2 mg was achieved at 1.6 V (vs. reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE)). The plasma-deposited RuOX catalyst appears to be an interesting candidate for photoanode material for photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrocatalysis in Energy and Green Chemistry)
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Open AccessCommunication
Potential Cycling Effects on Activities of Nickel-Mediated Benzyl Alcohol and Glycine Electrooxidation in Alkaline Solutions
Catalysts 2020, 10(1), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal10010119 - 15 Jan 2020
Viewed by 858
Abstract
Nickel electrodes under continuous potential cycling were applied for the electrooxidation of benzyl alcohol and glycine in KOH solutions, and their activities were measured and compared by cyclic voltammetry. It is shown that intrinsic activities of both reactions decrease with the increasing catalyst [...] Read more.
Nickel electrodes under continuous potential cycling were applied for the electrooxidation of benzyl alcohol and glycine in KOH solutions, and their activities were measured and compared by cyclic voltammetry. It is shown that intrinsic activities of both reactions decrease with the increasing catalyst loadings, and a more significant decreasing trend was observed in glycine electrooxidation when compared to benzyl alcohol electrooxidation. These phenomena may be explained by an increasing of mass loading induced a decrease of the catalyst surface conductivity, structure changes of Ni(OH)2 from α-phase to β-phase, and the intercalation of glycine molecules into nickel hydroxide interlayers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrocatalysis in Energy and Green Chemistry)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Plasma Deposited Ru-based Thin Films for Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting

Author: Jacek Tyczkowski 

Abstract: Plasma-enhanced metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (PEMOCVD) was employed to produce a ruthenium-based thin films. The surface chemical composition was examined by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). To determine the electrochemical and photoelectrochemical properties of the films, the linear sweep voltammetry (LSV) at pH = 13.6 was applied. XPS results indicated that Ru in the as-deposited films was mainly in metalic state (Ru0) whereas after the electrochemical treatment, the higher oxidation states were formed (mainly Ru4+). This RuOX catalyst exhibits high photoelectroactivity in the oxidation of water – the onset potential is approx. 1.37 V (vs. RHE) and the photocurrent density of 9.0 mA/cm2 is reached at 1.63 V (vs. RHE). The plasma deposited RuOX catalyst seems to be an interesting candidate for the photoanode material for photoelectrochemical water splitting.

Title: Evaluation of Durability of Platinum Catalyst Supported on Carbon Nanotubes Implanted on Carbon Nanofibers

Authors: Jun Kang et al

Title: Electrochemical promotion of catalysis for valorisation processes: The state-of-the-art
Authors: Arash Fellah Jahromi; Elena A. Baranova
Affiliation: Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Centre for Catalysis Research and Innovation (CCRI), University of Ottawa, 161 Louis-Pasteur, Ottawa, ON, K1N 6N5, Canada
Abstract: Valorisation processes have been of high interest since the twentieth century due to their applicability on being both environmental versatile and cost-effective resource for energy. Electrochemical promotion of catalysis (EPOC) or Non-Faradaic Electrochemical Modification of Catalytic Activity (NEMCA) is a recently explored phenomenon, demonstrates a remarkable potential to be introduced for valorisation processes such as alcohols reforming, CO2 hydrogenation, ammonia synthesis, and ethylene epoxidation. EPOC can be a solution to control activity and selectivity toward favourable product that are two core concerns in the area of heterogeneous catalysis, specifically conventional promotion catalysis (CCP). In addition, a pronounced increase in enhancement ratio (ratio between rate of EPOC: CCP) is expected via EPOC. Such enhancement is sensitive to nature of the process and catalytic system. In this article, both aspects of extension of the EPOC application to a variety of processes and investigation of the functionality of multifarious catalytic and electrochemical systems (e.g. contribution of solid electrolyte cell, catalyst, promoters, and support) were addressed. As equally important, comprehensive review on frontiers and state-of-the-art for each valorisation process was provided with the focus on industrialization barriers and solutions.

Title: Evaluation of Durability of Platinum Catalyst Supported on Carbon Nanotubes Implanted on Carbon Nanofibers
Authors: Jun Kang et al
Affiliation: Korea Maritime and Ocean University

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