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Selective Electroreduction of Oxalic Acid to Glycolic Acid by Mesoporous TiO2 Spheres

Von Wiley-VCH zur Verfügung gestellt

Mesoporous TiO2 spheres with large specific surface area were synthesized by a simple two-step method for the electrocatalytic reduction of oxalic acid. The maximum Faradaic efficiency for glycolic acid reached 73.9 % at −0.5 V at ambient temperature, exceeding most recently reported results.


Reducing oxalic acid to glycolic acid electrochemically remains a significant challenge due to the high overpotential and low selectivity and stability. This study uses mesoporous TiO2 spheres of anatase phase as catalysts to reduce oxalic acid to glycolic acid with low overpotential. The maximum Faradaic efficiency of glycolic acid reaches 73.9 % at −0.5 V vs RHE. The mesoporous structure not only increases the specific surface area, but also limits the escape of intermediate glyoxalic acid from the catalyst surface due to the space-limiting effect of the mesoporous channel, such that oxalic acid can be deeply reduced to glycolic acid. Moreover, a mechanism for oxalic acid reduction is proposed, and the Ti3+/Ti4+ redox pair plays an important role in the reduction of oxalic acid.

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