Nanoparticles can be used to produce small amounts of hydrogen peroxide with less precious metals in straightforward process
A new cheaper, more effective catalyst for producing hydrogen peroxide directly from hydrogen and oxygen has been created.1 Researchers in the UK and US say that the method should make production of dilute hydrogen peroxide for water purification, disinfection and other applications more practical.
‘Tin is currently used as promoter for platinum-based light alkane dehydrogenation catalysts,’ say Bert Weckhuysen of Utrecht University in the Netherlands. ‘Hutchings’ group here is using this tin to fine tune the catalytic properties of supported palladium nanoparticles to make sure that unwanted side- reactions are switched off. I think this an important finding for an important reaction.’ He believes more information is needed, however, about the stability of the catalyst material.
Gabriele Centi of the University of Messina also wants more data on catalyst stability, and foresees a potential obstacle to the process, which uses methanol as a solvent. ‘If you use hydrogen peroxide for wastewater treatment or soil cleaning, for example, you need to get rid of the alcohol and have water as the solvent.’