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Electrified hydrogen peroxide production

Prof. Michael J. Aziz
Gene & Tracy Sykes Professor of Materials & Energy Technologies, SEAS

Annual global hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) production is 5 million (metric) tons. The industrial thermocatalytic anthraquinone autoxidation (AO) method is the dominant production technology, but it involves high risks associated with pressurized hydrogen and air input and requires expensive palladium-based catalysts that slowly decompose anthraquinone molecules. Additionally, a considerable amount of energy must be put into the distillation/concentration and transport of H2O2, providing an opportunity for decentralized electrochemical H2O2 production methods. We have developed an interface hydrogen atom transfer reaction between an aqueous and a non-aqueous phase that permits the electrification of the industrial H2O2 production process and avoids anthraquinone decomposition. The aqueous electrochemical process enables the production of H2O2 with high charge transfer efficiency under high current densities. The system can be free of hydrogen gas and noble metal catalyst. The H2O2 can be produced this way at high concentration and high purity. This method can facilitate the electrification and decentralization of industrial H2O2 production, reducing the major operating cost associated with the decomposition of anthraquinone molecules and major energy cost associated with concentrating and transporting H2O2. The technique may be commercialized into a machine that consumes only water, air, and electricity to generate pure and concentrated H2O2 for industrial utilization. By electrification, decentralization, and suppressing the organic wastes generated due to molecule decomposition, this approach can transform industrial peroxide production into a green chemical process with a lower cost compared to the incumbent method.

Project Overview

Interested in this technology?  We are currently seeking partners in academia and industry to collaborate on further developments. 

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