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Title: Kinetic Analysis of Competitive Electrocatalytic Pathways: New Insights into Hydrogen Production with Nickel Electrocatalysts

The hydrogen production electrocatalyst Ni(PPh2NPh2)22+ (1) is capable of traversing multiple electrocatalytic pathways. When using dimethylformamidium, DMF(H)+, the mechanism of formation of H2 catalyzed by 1 changes from an ECEC to an EECC mechanism as the potential approaches the Ni(I/0) couple. Two recent electrochemical methods, current-potential analysis and foot-of-the-wave analysis (FOWA), were performed on 1 to measure the detailed chemical kinetics of the competing ECEC and EECC pathways. A sensitivity analysis was performed on the electrochemical methods using digital simulations to gain a better understanding of their strengths and limitations. Notably, chemical rate constants were significantly underestimated when not accounting for electron transfer kinetics, even when electron transfer was fast enough to afford a reversible non-catalytic wave. The EECC pathway of 1 was found to be faster than the ECEC pathway under all conditions studied. Using buffered DMF: DMF(H)+ mixtures led to an increase in the catalytic rate constant (kobs) of the EECC pathway, but kobs for the ECEC pathway did not change when using buffered acid. Further kinetic analysis of the ECEC path revealed that added base increases the rate of isomerization of the exo-protonated Ni(0) isomers to the catalytically active endo-isomers, but decreases the net rate of protonationmore » of Ni(I). FOWA on 1 did not provide accurate rate constants due to incomplete reduction of the exo-protonated Ni(I) intermediate at the foot of the wave, but FOWA could be used to estimate the reduction potential of this previously undetected intermediate. This research was supported as part of the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is operated by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0002-7863; KC0307010
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of the American Chemical Society; Journal Volume: 138; Journal Issue: 2
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
hydrogen production; electrocatalysis; foot-of-the-wave analysis (FOWA); homoconjugation; proton relays; nickel phosphine complexes