Electrochemical converting ethanol to hydrogen and acetic acid for large scale green hydrogen production

Yufeng Zhang, Wei Zhu*, Jinjie Fang, Zhiyuan Xu, Yanrong Xue, Jiajing Pei, Rui Sui, Xingdong Wang, Xuejiang Zhang, Zhongbin Zhuang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Electrochemical coupling hydrogen evolution with biomass reforming reaction (named electrochemical hydrogen and chemical cogeneration (EHCC)), which realizes green hydrogen production and chemical upgrading simultaneously, is a promising method to build a carbon-neutral society. Herein, we analyze the EHCC process by considering the market assessment. The ethanol to acetic acid and hydrogen approach is the most feasible for large-scale hydrogen production. We develop AuCu nanocatalysts, which can selectively oxidize ethanol to acetic acid (> 97%) with high long-term activity. The isotopic and in-situ infrared experiments reveal that the promoted water dissociation step by alloying contributes to the enhanced activity of the partial oxidation reaction path. A flow-cell electrolyzer equipped with the AuCu anodic catalyst achieves the steady production of hydrogen and acetic acid simultaneously in both high selectivity (> 90%), demonstrating the potential scalable application for green hydrogen production with low energy consumption and high profitability.[Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNano Research
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • electrochemical-coupled hydrogen production
  • gold alloy catalyst
  • interfacial water activation
  • market assessment
  • selective ethanol electrooxidation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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