Doing oxidation reactions with electricity instead of chemicals
A major part of the chemical industry depends on selective oxidations with alcohols, phenols, epoxides, etc. as prominent products. These oxygenated products find widespread application ranging from detergents and plasticizers to coatings and drug intermediates. Here the challenge is to develop electrochemical methodologies for direct selective oxidation (direct use of redox process) or generate the essential oxidizing agents (H2O2, organic peroxides, HOCl) for in situ at low steady state concentrations for use in a range of catalytic oxidations processes. The second key challenge that will be tackled in this project is to generate the catalytic intermediates electrochemically directly and by-pass the need to generate stoichiometric oxidants altogether.