Recent progress on electrochemical production of hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), first synthesized in 1818 through the acidification of barium peroxide (BaO2) with nitric acid, is a clear and colorless liquid which is entirely miscible with water and variety of organic solvents such as carboxylic esters. Anthraquinone process (an old production process of H2O2), a batch process carried out in large facilities is an energy demanding process that requires large facilities, and involves oxidation of anthraquinone molecules and sequential hydrogenation. Moreover, the direct synthesis method enables production in a continuous mode as well as it permits small scale, decentralized production. Many drawbacks associated with these processes such as, energetic inefficiency and inherent disadvantages have motivated researchers, industry and academia to find out alternative for synthesis of H2O2. Electrochemical route based on catalyst selectively reduce oxygen to hydrogen peroxide. O2 is cathodically reduced to produce H2O2 via 2-electron pathway or 4-electron pathway to get H2O. Electrolysis of water has an important place in storage and electrochemical energy conversion process where problem is to choose a sufficiently stable and active electrode for anodic oxygen evolution reaction. Most commonly used catalysts on the cathode are carbon based materials such as carbon black, carbon nanotubes, graphite, carbon sponge, and carbon fiber. In perspective of expanding demand of production and usage of hydrogen peroxide we review the past literature to summarize different production processes of H2O2. In this review paper, we mainly focus on electrochemical production of hydrogen peroxide along with other alternatives such as, anthraquinone method for industrial H2O2 production and direct synthesis process. We also review the catalytic activity, selectivity and stability for enhanced yield of H2O2. From revision of experimental and theoretical data from the past literature; we argue that successful implementation of electrochemical H2O2 production can be realized on the basis of stable, active and selective catalyst.