CE07 - Chimie moléculaire

Efficient noble metal free electrocatalysts for proton, carbon dioxide and nitrate reduction boosted by second sphere coordination interaction – ElectroCat

Submission summary

To address the challenges of natural resource depletion and gigantic creation of wastes, we are urged to move from a linear economy to a sustainable circular economy, in which materials will be systematically recycled to create a closed virtuous loop. To convert abundant wastes such as carbon dioxide and nitrate into valuable fuels and chemicals or to reduce water into hydrogen to decarbonize the energy sector, requires the development of very active, selective and cheap catalysts. This is precisely, the main objective of this project aiming at tuning the second coordination sphere of metal phtalocyanines and metal quaterpyridines to enhance their catalytic performances with the goal to improve or modulate their selectivities and to decrease the overpotential. The promises of this project are to develop cost-effective, stable and efficient electrocatalysts with noble-free metal and working in water for reduction of proton, carbon dioxide and nitrate into added value products, that can find valuable uses in the sectors of energy and chemical industry. The methodology is based on the implementation of already active catalysts, for proton, CO2 and nitrate reduction, with spatially well-positioned functional groups such as acid/base groups, charged moieties, which stabilize intermediates and transition states hence decrease the overpotential, but also enhance or alter product selectivity. This bioinspired strategy is found in hydrogenase, CO dehydrogenase and nitrite reductase enzymes and its pertinence is also demonstrated in synthetic catalysts. The electrocatalytic properties of the prepared catalysts will be investigated in aqueous media after their immobilization on carbon based materials such as carbon nanotube and carbon mesh. Comprehensive studies by different electrochemical and spectroscopic techniques along with modeling with chemical calculations will provide information to understand the catalytic mechanism and predict catalysts with higher activity.

Project coordination


The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


LEM Université de Paris

Help of the ANR 348,107 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: September 2022 - 42 Months

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