Efficient Screening of Bi–Metallic Electrocatalysts for Glycerol Valorization

Egon Campos dos Santos, Rafael B Araujo, Mikael Valter, German Salazar-Alvarez, Mats Johnsson, Michal Bajdich, Frank Abild-Pedersen, Lars Gunnar Moody Pettersson
Year of publication: 
Electrochimica Acta

Glycerol is a byproduct of biodiesel production and, as such, it is of limited economic value. By means of electrooxidation, glycerol can be used as a feedstock for scalable hydrogen production, in addition to conversion to value-added products. The development of novel and efficient catalytic electrode materials for the anodic side of the reaction is a key towards a hydrogen-based energy economy. In the present study, a computational screening protocol combining DFT, scaling relations, and microkinetic modeling allows for a rational selection of novel catalysts that can deliver efficient glycerol electrooxidation, low cost of production, and environmental sustainability. Activity and chemical selectivity towards hydrogen production on pure metal catalysts is discussed in terms of volcano-shaped plots. We find that the selectivity in the glycerol oxidation reaction is influenced by a different energy landscape when in the presence of water and best classified by a comparison of Osingle bondH and Csingle bondH bond-breaking barriers. In addition, we screened 3570 bi-metallic catalysts in the AB (L10) and A3B (L12) ordered structures for activity, stability, price, and toxicity. By filtering based on the criteria for toxicity, resistance to oxidation, miscibility, and price, we have identified 5 L10structured catalysts (AgPd, AuPd, PtSb, CuPt, and AgPt) and 20 L12 catalysts (Ga3Ta, In3Ta, Ir3W, Ir3Mo, Cu3Pt, Ir3Ta, Ir3Re, Pd3Bi, Pd3Cu, Pd3W, Pd3Co, Pd3Sn, Pd3Mo, Pd3Ag, Pd3Ga, Pd3Ta, Au3Ru, Pd3In, Au3Ir, and Pd3Au) that are all predicted to show high activity. We also identify an additional 37 L10 and 92 L12 structured electrocatalysts with an anticipated medium-high activity.

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