Enhanced activity of catalysts on substrates with surface protonic current in an electrical field-a review

Yudai Hisai, Quanbao Ma, Thomas Qureishy, Takeshi Watanabe, Takuma Higo, Truls Norby*, Yasushi Sekine*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


It has over the last few years been reported that the application of a DC electric field and resulting current over a bed of certain catalyst-support systems enhances catalytic activity for several reactions involving hydrogen-containing reactants, and the effect has been attributed to surface protonic conductivity on the porous ceramic support (typically ZrO2, CeO2, SrZrO3). Models for the nature of the interaction between the protonic current, the catalyst particle (typically Ru, Ni, Co, Fe), and adsorbed reactants such as NH3 and CH4 have developed as experimental evidence has emerged. Here, we summarize the electrical enhancement and how it enhances yield and lowers reaction temperatures of industrially important chemical processes. We also review the nature of the relevant catalysts, support materials, as well as essentials and recent progress in surface protonics. It is easily suspected that the effect is merely an increase in local vs. nominal set temperature due to the ohmic heating of the electrical field and current. We address this and add data from recent studies of ours that indicate that the heating effect is minor, and that the novel catalytic effect of a surface protonic current must have additional causes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5737-5749
Number of pages13
JournalChemical Communications
Issue number47
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jun 14

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • General Chemistry
  • Catalysis


Dive into the research topics of 'Enhanced activity of catalysts on substrates with surface protonic current in an electrical field-a review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this