Disruptive Electrode-Electrolyte Approaches beyond Contemporary Limitations
The use of electric energy for the production of valuable organic products, such as fine chemicals and active pharmaceutical ingredients, is an inherently safe and sustainable method. Expensive, dangerous and often environmentally harmful catalysts can be avoided. The direct use of electrons as reagents also reduces the amount of chemicals needed. For direct material use of electricity to value products, e.g., fine chemicals from biomass, deoxygenation of organic substrates is one of the electrochemical key reactions that has not yet been solved. Since sustainability requires working under mild conditions in water or simple alcohols, the key challenge is to avoid hydrogen evolution, which preferentially proceeds and consumes energy. Here, ECHELON takes a conceptually new approach: the overvoltage for hydrogen evolution is systematically increased.
ECHELON's scientific success is ensured by joint and interdisciplinary research consisting of theory and experiment. This is achieved through an interaction of the two Top-level Research Areas multiscale modeling (M3ODEL, FB08 Physics) and resource-efficient chemistry (SusInnoScience, FB09 Chemistry) at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz within the framework of ECHELON.
ECHELON is funded by Carl Zeiss Foundation.