Electrooxidation of formic acid on gold: An ATR-SEIRAS study of the role of adsorbed formate

Angel Cuesta, Gema Cabello, Fabian W. Hartl, Maria Escudero-Escribano, Cristina Vaz-Dominguez, Ludwig A. Kibler, Masatoshi Osawa, Claudio Gutierrez

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60 Citations (Scopus)
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Formate was found to be the only adsorbed species detected with time-resolved ATR-SEIRAS during the electrooxidation of formic acid on Au in acidic media. No adsorbed CO was detected, since even in CO-saturated acidic solutions the adsorption of CO on gold is negligible. The onset of formic acid electrooxidation coincides with that of formate electroadsorption, pointing to bridge-bonded adsorbed formate as the reaction intermediate. Furthermore, at constant potential the current increases quadratically with the formate coverage, which indicates that the rate-determining step in the oxidation of adsorbed formate to CO2 is a bimolecular reaction between adjacent formate species. The rate of this reaction was unaffected by potential changes, which unequivocally confirms its chemical character.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-86
Number of pages8
JournalCatalysis Today
Early online date21 Jun 2012
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding from the DGI (Spanish Ministry of Education and Science) through Projects CTQ2009-07017 and PLE2009-0008 is gratefully acknowledged. M.E.-E. acknowledges an FPI fellowship from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation and an accommodation grant at the Residencia de Estudiantes from the Madrid City Council. C. V.-D. acknowledges a JAE-Doc fellowship from CSIC.


  • Au
  • formic acid
  • electroxidation
  • direct path
  • absorbed formate


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