A liquid flow-Type electrolyser that continuously produces an alcohol from a carboxylic acid was constructed by employing a polymer electrolyte, named a polymer electrolyte alcohol electrosynthesis cell (PEAEC). Glycolic acid (GC, an alcoholic compound) is generated on anatase TiO2 catalysts via four-electron reduction of oxalic acid (OX, a divalent carboxylic acid), accompanied with water oxidation, which achieves continuous electric power storage in easily stored GC. Porous anatase TiO2 directly grown on Ti mesh (TiO2/Ti-M) or Ti felt (TiO2/Ti-F) was newly fabricated as a cathode having favourable substrate diffusivity. A membrane-electrode assembly composed of the TiO2/Ti-M, Nafion 117, and an IrO2 supported on a gas-diffusion carbon electrode (IrO2/C) was applied to the PEAEC. We achieved a maximum energy conversion efficiency of 49.6% and a continuous 99.8% conversion of 1 M OX, which is an almost saturated aqueous solution at room temperature.
ASJC Scopus subject areas