Adsorbed formate: the key intermediate in the oxidation of formic acid on platinum electrodes

Angel Cuesta, Gema Cabello, Claudio Gutierrez, Masatoshi Osawa

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The electrooxidation of formic acid on Pt and other noble metal electrodes proceeds through a dual-path mechanism, composed of a direct path and an indirect path through adsorbed carbon monoxide, a poisoning intermediate. Adsorbed formate had been identified as the reactive intermediate in the direct path. Here we show that actually it is also the intermediate in the indirect path and is, hence, the key reaction intermediate, common to both the direct and indirect paths. Furthermore, it is confirmed that the dehydration of formic acid on Pt electrodes requires adjacent empty sites, and it is demonstrated that the reaction follows an apparently paradoxical electrochemical mechanism, in which an oxidation is immediately followed by a reduction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20091-20095
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number45
Early online date25 Oct 2011
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2011


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