Chemical News

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

One Step process for H2O2

A new catalyst for selectively oxidizing hydrogen into hydrogen peroxide has been developed by professor Tatsumi Ishihara at the Post-Graduate School of Engineering, Kyushu University (Fukuoka City, Japan).

This one-step synthesis of H2O2 is expected to be more economical and less energy intensive than conventional routes, such as the anthraquinone based route or the electrolysis of ammonium hydrogen sulfate solutions, both of which involve multiple reaction and separation steps.

The new catalyst — colloidal (10–20-nm sized) particles of palladium (85 mol%) and gold — is made by reducing a solution of Pd and Au with liquid-phase hydrazine. When a mixture of H2 and air (H2/O2 concentration below the explosion limit) is bubbled through an aqueous suspension of the catalyst at 10°C and atmospheric pressure, the H2 is converted to H2O2 with nearly 100% selectivity and a 29% yield, says Ishihara.

In the future, he hopes to increase the yield to nearly 90% in order to apply the new catalytic process for the commercial production of hydrogen peroxide.