Linköping University

Design rationale of conjugated polymers catalyst coatings for electrochemical production of hydrogen peroxide

  • Circularity and Replacement
  • Climate
  • Energy
  • Synthesis & Processing
Academic project

Research question

Conjugated polymers (CPs) have shown considerable potential as sustainable catalysts for the electrochemical oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) to produce H2O2. However, more in-depth knowledge about how the chemical design of ORR-CP catalysts influences their catalytic properties is needed. The following research questions (and many more) have not been answered yet for CPs that catalyze electrochemical ORR with regards to their chemical design:

  • How does the ionization energy (IE) of CPs influence the ORR mechanism?
  • Does the side-chain polarity affect the catalytic efficiency of CPs for ORR?
  • Does optimized IE and side-chain polarity combined result in overall improved catalytic function of the CP catalyst?

To start filling this knowledge gap, the focus of this project will lie on synthesizing a rational series of CPs. The ultimate goal is to create a next generation of ORR-CP that offers improved and robust H2O2 production In line with today’s increasing demand for sustainable materials. The starting material of this project will be a carboxylate-acid functionalized polar polythiophene that can be water-processed, fixated and recovered with benign chemistry.

Sustainability aspects

Green materials for efficient technology and infrastructure to harvest, transport, store, and convert energy. The targeted material designs will comply as with SDG 12, Efficient (re)use/recycling of (natural) materials for sustainable production/consumption with lower chem release into soil, air and water. The utility for H2O2 outside of SDG 7 is due to its potent antiseptic properties, which is of relevance for SDG 3, Materials enabling good health and protection against hazardous compounds, and SDG 6, Materials to capture, clean, transport, pressurize, filter, purify, store, and detoxify water.

Linköping University

Renee Kroon


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