Prospect of vapor phase catalytic H2O2 production by oxidation of water

Mayfair Kung, Harold H. Kung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Vapor phase catalytic hydrogen peroxide production by oxidation of water is possible by coupling the reaction with oxidation of an organic sacrificial reductant. It is potentially a safer process than direct synthesis from H2 and O2. Based on mechanistic information available mostly for liquid phase catalytic processes, feasible reaction mechanisms for such coupled reactions are proposed based on which desirable catalyst properties are identified. It is found that the surface-adsorbed oxygen bond is an important parameter for identifying desirable catalysts. Thermodynamics can be used to identify the types of organic oxidation reactions that can couple with water oxidation such that H2O2 formation becomes thermodynamically favorable. Reactions such as epoxidation of alkenes and selective oxidation of alkanes to alcohols cannot provide sufficient thermodynamic driving force, whereas oxidation of alcohols to aldehydes and to acids can. Finally, further research is suggested to identify catalytic properties important for H2O2 decomposition and for coupling selective oxidation of organic compounds to oxidation of H2O in order to facilitate development of H2O2 production coupled with selective organic oxidation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1673-1678
Number of pages6
JournalChinese Journal of Catalysis
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2019


  • Catalytic oxidation
  • HO production
  • Reaction coupling
  • Reaction mechanism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry


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