Electrocatalysis is a crucial part of the future chemical industry, as it allows unique reaction schemes, can be powered in a sustainable manner, and can even contribute to balancing the fluctuating nature of renewable electricity generation. Water electrolysis and electrochemical CO2 reduction will be central parts of a future and sustainable energy system. Detailed mechanistic understanding of the particular reaction steps is required to develop more stable and active electrocatalysts.

To gain deeper insight into those electrochemical reaction networks we will apply X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Auger electron spectroscopy and Low energy ion scattering. For water electrolysis and CO2 reduction, the common counter reaction is still the oxygen evolution reaction, which is sluggish and does not yield a valuable product. Hence, alternative anodic reactions will be investigated that are capable of yielding products with added economic value. Preferably, waste substrate shall be converted in those alternative anodic reactions.

Contact: Dr. Christian Pichler