HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Rome, Italy or Virtually from your home or work.
Vahide Nuran Mutlu, Speaker at Catalysis Conference
SOCAR Turkey Research & Development and Innovation Inc., Turkey
Title : Development of Cu-based Bimetalic Catalysts for the Electrocatalytic Hydrogenation of Acetone to Isopropanol for LOHC Applications


Hydrogen has gained an increasing importance as secondary energy vector due to the urgent requirement of CO2-notr energy storage and transformation. However, the nature of hydrogen requires dedicated infrastructures, and this has prevented so far the introduction of elemental hydrogen into the energy sector to a large extent. The challenges associated with conventional hydrogen storage, such as compression and liquefaction technologies, include safety concerns, low storage density, transportation, boil-off losses, and relatively high costs. Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier (LOHC) have attracted large attention in recent years as an alternative to the conventional methods. LOHC uses pairs of a hydrogen-lean, and a hydrogen-rich compounds. Hydrogen is stored via the catalytic hydrogenation of the hydrogen-lean compound while it is released back by the catalytic dehydrogenation of the hydrogen-rich LOHC compounds. This method enables to store hydrogen in liquid form at ambient conditions over long periods, thereby allowing the utilization of the existing infrastructure used for conventional fuels. The LOHC fuel cells makes this method more attractive since once hydrogen is stored it can be converted to electricity by the direct use of LOHC-bound hydrogen. In the conventional LOHC system hydrogen storage occurs at high temperatures (100-250 oC) and pressures (10-50 bar) via the catalytic hydrogenation of the hydrogen-lean LOHC, however, hydrogen can be also stored by electrochemical hydrogenation (ECH) at low temperature and ambient pressure. ECH can be combined with water electrolyzer for the direct storage of renewable electricity. In this study, we proposed an acetone-water electrolyzer   for the electricity storage, where water decomposes to oxygen, protons and electrons at the anode while acetone reacts protons and electrons to form isopropanol at the cathode. We focused on the cathode side and studied electrocatalytic hydrogenation (ECH) of acetone in the presence of carbon supported Cu-based bimetallic catalysts. We have investigated the effect of second metal (Co, Ni, Pt) and its composition on the activity, selectivity and stability in a divided cell via cyclic voltammetry, electrochemical impedance spectrometry (EIS) and chronoamperometry. The results will be presented and discussed and the potential of acetone-water electrolyzer will be evaluated as an energy storage alternative.

Audience take-away:

  • They will gain insight about a new emerging technology for energy storage, which eliminates the challenges in conventional energy storage methods.
  • They will learn the working principle, components and characterization of acetone-water electrolyzer systems.
  • They will gain knowledge on electrocatalysis, electrocatalytic reactions and the relation between catalysts properties and activity, selectivity and stability.
  • They can use the related knowledge for the design of catalytic materials and electrochemical reactors and the development of methods for catalyst and product characterization.
  • This study will help academics to expand their knowledge in energy storage, electrocatalytic reactions, electrocatalysis and electrolyzers and inspires them for the development of new ideas in this field.
  • This study will inspires audience from industry to develop ideas for new energy storage technologies, new electrolyzer systems and new materials (catalysts, electrodes, transport layer, membrane, flow channels).


Dr. Vahide MUTLU is a Process Development Senior Specialist in SOCAR R&D. She got her PhD in Chemical Engineering, M.Sc in Material Science and Engineering, and B. Sc in Chemical Engineering at Izmir Institute of Technology, Türkiye where, she worked as a research assistant for 9 years. Her research interests are design & synthesis of solid catalysts, catalytic conversion of biomass to chemicals, catalytic processes and materials for renewable energy and chemical synthesis. She has expertise in catalyst preparation and characterization and reaction engineering.