Highly active and selective oxygen reduction to H2O2 on boron-doped carbon for high production rates
Oxygen reduction reaction towards hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) provides a green alternative route for H2O2 production, but it lacks efficient catalysts to achieve high selectivity and activity simultaneously under industrial-relevant production rates. Here we report a boron-doped carbon (B-C) catalyst which can overcome this activity-selectivity dilemma. Compared to the state-of-the-art oxidized carbon catalyst, B-C catalyst presents enhanced activity (saving more than 210 mV overpotential) under industrial-relevant currents (up to 300 mA cm−2) while maintaining high H2O2 selectivity (85–90%). Density-functional theory calculations reveal that the boron dopant site is responsible for high H2O2 activity and selectivity due to low thermodynamic and kinetic barriers. Employed in our porous solid electrolyte reactor, the B-C catalyst demonstrates a direct and continuous generation of pure H2O2 solutions with high selectivity (up to 95%) and high H2O2 partial currents (up to ~400 mA cm−2), illustrating the catalyst’s great potential for practical applications in the future.