This paper examines the detection and quantification of the potentially corrosive byproducts of the oxygen evolution reaction on iridium and iridium–ruthenium mixed oxides. A conventional but stationary ring-disc electrode was employed in a flow cell configuration for the detection of volatile reaction product other than oxygen, and the formation of at least two active species was detected. Potential-modulated UV–VIS reflectance spectroscopy helped to identify one of these volatile reaction byproducts as hydrogen peroxide, and the other is tentatively suggested to be ozone. It was found that these species are formed under potentiodynamic conditions due to the chemical recombination of the absorbed reaction intermediates. The influence of the electrode material composition on the production yield of these byproducts was studied, and we found that the generation of these corrosive reaction byproducts is suppressed the more active the catalyst is for the OER. The formation of by-products can therefore be addressed by a rational choice of the electrode materials based on the adsorption energy of the reaction intermediates as is done for the OER itself. Steady-state electrolysis minimizes hydrogen peroxide formation as byproduct of the oxygen evolution reaction.
- water electrolysis
- hydrogen peroxide