The Influence of Reactive Side Products in Electrocatalytic Reactions: Methanol Oxidation as Case Study



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The role and impact of follow-up processes involving reactive side products in an electrocatalytic reaction is demonstrated for the electrooxidation of methanol at a Pt electrode. By using combined in situ infrared spectroscopy and online mass spectrometry and employing isotope-labeling techniques, it is shown that even small amounts of the incomplete oxidation products formaldehyde and formic acid have pronounced effects on the reaction.