Analysing the relationship between the fields of thermo- and electrocatalysis taking hydrogen peroxide as a case study

Guilherme V. Fortunato, Enrico Pizzutilo, Ioannis Katsounaros, Daniel Göhl, Richard J. Lewis, Karl J. J. Mayrhofer, Graham J. Hutchings, Simon J. Freakley, Marc Ledendecker

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

8 Citations (SciVal)


Catalysis is inherently driven by the interaction of reactants, intermediates and formed products with the catalyst’s surface. In order to reach the desired transition state and to overcome the kinetic barrier, elevated temperatures or electrical potentials are employed to increase the rate of reaction. Despite immense efforts in the last decades, research in thermo- and electrocatalysis has often preceded in isolation, even for similar reactions. Conceptually, any heterogeneous surface process that involves changes in oxidation states, redox processes, adsorption of charged species (even as spectators) or heterolytic cleavage of small molecules should be thought of as having parallels with electrochemical processes occurring at electrified interfaces. Herein, we compare current trends in thermo- and electrocatalysis and elaborate on the commonalities and differences between both research fields, with a specific focus on the production of hydrogen peroxide as case study. We hope that interlinking both fields will be inspiring and thought-provoking, eventually creating synergies and leverage towards more efficient decentralized chemical conversion processes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1973
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
G.V.F. gratefully acknowledges financial support by the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP – grants #2017/10118-0 and #2019/04421-7), K.J.J.M. and M.L. acknowledge the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) of Germany in the framework of POREForm (project number 0 03ETB027G) for funding. S.J.F. acknowledges the award of a Prize Research Fellowship from the University of Bath. M.L. acknowledges the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in the framework of NanoMatFutur (SynKat) for financial support (project number 03XP0265). We would like to thank MAXNET Energy for financial support.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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