Multiscale Design of Electrocatalysts for On-Demand H2O2 Production

March 11th, 2022

R&D Focus Areas:
Electrolysis, Materials modelling, advanced manufacturing

Lead Organisation:
The University of Adelaide

Not applicable


Start date:
January 2022

Completion date:
December 2024

Key contacts:
Dr. Cheng Tang:

Australian Research Council Discovery: Early Career Researcher Award

Project total cost:

Project summary description:
Access to green, flexible and reliable energy and chemicals is key to global sustainable development and increasing prosperity. The aim of this project is to design advanced single-atom catalysts (SACs) at multiscale for efficient and selective electrocatalytic reduction of oxygen to hydrogen peroxides as clean chemicals and fuels.

Specific objectives of the project include:

  • Unravel intrinsic mechanisms that determine the activity and selectivity for oxygen reduction reaction on SACs based on the systematic methodology involving electrochemical evaluation, in situ characterisation and theoretical calculation;
  • Establish multiscale design principles for SACs with tunable electronic and geometric structures towards high activity and selectivity for electrocatalytic H2O2 production;
  • Develop general, efficient and scalable strategies to tailor the multiscale structures of SACs from active metal centres, local coordination structure, functionalised substrate, to hierarchical porosity;
  • Integrate the multiscale-optimised SACs into practical H2O2 production devices by engineering the electrode interface to achieve commercially relevant performance, such as a large current density, high selectivity, long-term stability, and high H2O2

It is expected to generate new knowledge in materials science and electrochemistry, using interdisciplinary approaches of multiscale material engineering, in situ characterisation and theoretical calculations.

Expected outcomes include generalised design principles, innovative synthesis strategies, refined reaction mechanism understanding, and commercially relevant electrolysis technologies.

Related publications and key links:

Key publications:

  1. Tang, L. Chen, H. Li, L. Li, Y. Jiao, Y. Zheng, H. Xu, K. Davey, S.-Z. Qiao,* Tailoring acidic oxygen reduction-selectivity on single-atom catalysts via modification of first and second coordination spheres, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2021, 143, 7819-7827.
  2. Tang, Y. Zheng, M. Jaroniec, S.-Z. Qiao,* Electrocatalytic refinery for sustainable production of fuels and chemicals, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2021, 60, 19572-19590.
  3. Tang, Y. Jiao, B. Shi, J.-N. Liu, Z. Xie, X. Chen, Q. Zhang, S.-Z. Qiao,* Coordination tunes selectivity: Two-electron oxygen reduction on high-loading molybdenum single-atom catalysts, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2020, 59, 9171.
  4. -Y. Zhang, C. Xia, H.-F. Wang, C. Tang,* Recent advances in electrocatalytic oxygen reduction for on-site hydrogen peroxide synthesis in acidic media, J. Energy Chem. 2022, 67, 432-450.

Higher degree studies supported:
Two PhD students


March 2022