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The electro-oxidation of formate ions at a polycrystalline Pt electrode in alkaline solution: an in situ FTIR study

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Paul ChristensenORCiD, Dr Andrew Hamnett, Douglas Linares Moya


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This paper reports in situ FTIR studies on the oxidation of formate at polycrystalline Pt in aqueous KOH. Data are presented which show that hydroxyl species play a major role in the electro-oxidation of small organic molecules under alkaline conditions at polycrystalline Pt, and that a number of possible mechanistic pathways are possible. Small changes in experimental conditions appear to be able to cause the reaction to flick between these pathways; for example, the presence of oxygen has a marked effect upon the observed electrochemistry. In contrast to acid solution, our postulated model includes the formation of intermediates bonded through O atoms, rather than C, as being an important option in alkaline solution. Finally, the pH distribution across the reflective electrode in external reflectance IR is modelled and significant variations in pH across the electrode surface in FTIR cells predicted and confirmed experimentally.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Christensen PA, Hamnett A, Linares-Moya D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics

Year: 2011

Volume: 13

Issue: 24

Pages: 11739-11747

Print publication date: 03/05/2011

ISSN (print): 1463-9076

ISSN (electronic): 1463-9084

Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry


DOI: 10.1039/c1cp20166b


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