Electrooxidation of Glycerol on Gold in Acidic Medium: A Combined Experimental and DFT Study
Journal article, 2018

Glycerol is a byproduct of biodiesel production and an abundant feedstock for synthesis of high-value chemicals. A promising approach for valorization of glycerol is electrooxidation on gold. In this work, we investigate electrooxidation of glycerol on gold in acidic media using cyclic voltammetry and density functional theory calculations. Experimentally, we observe activity for electrooxidation above a potential of 0.5 V vs. the reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE). A Pourbaix diagram is calculated to evaluate the surface coverage under reaction conditions, indicating that *O and *OH are not present at the measured onset potential. Computationally, we find that the onset potentials for partial dehydrogenation of glycerol to dihydroxyacetone, 2,3-dihydroxy-2-propenal and glyceraldehyde are 0.39, 0.39, and 0.60 V vs. RHE, respectively, while complete dehydrogenation to carbon monoxide requires 0.50 V vs. RHE. Our theoretical and experimental findings are in agreement and show the possibility of using gold as a catalyst for production of hydrogen and other valuable chemicals from glycerol.


Mikael Valter

Chalmers, Physics, Chemical Physics

Competence Centre for Catalysis (KCK)

Michael Busch

Chalmers, Physics, Chemical Physics

Björn Wickman

Chalmers, Physics, Chemical Physics

Henrik Grönbeck

Competence Centre for Catalysis (KCK)

Chalmers, Physics, Chemical Physics

Jonas Baltrusaitis

Lehigh University

Anders Hellman

Competence Centre for Catalysis (KCK)

Chalmers, Physics, Chemical Physics

Journal of Physical Chemistry C

1932-7447 (ISSN) 1932-7455 (eISSN)

Vol. 122 19 10489-10494

Improved Water Quality made simple by Self-cleaning Membranes

Formas (2014-1478), 2015-01-01 -- 2017-12-31.

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance

Nanoscience and Nanotechnology



Materials Science

Subject Categories

Physical Chemistry

Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics

Condensed Matter Physics


C3SE (Chalmers Centre for Computational Science and Engineering)



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