Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Recommended practice to report selectivity in electrochemical synthesis of H2O2

Two different types of H2O2 selectivity are reported for the electrochemical synthesis of H2O2: molar fraction selectivity and Faradaic selectivity. Here we revisit their definitions and discuss the best way to report H2O2 selectivity, which can help to avoid misunderstandings or unfair performance comparisons in this growing field.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Get just this article for as long as you need it


Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Fig. 1: Trends of 2e-ORR and 4e-ORR publications in recent years.
Fig. 2: The relationship between the two types of selectivity.


  1. Perry, S. C. et al. Nat. Rev. Chem. 3, 442–458 (2019).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Hans-Joachim, R. & Georg, P. US patent 2158525A (1939).

  3. Xia, C., Xia, Y., Zhu, P., Fan, L. & Wang, H. Science 366, 226–231 (2019).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Lu, Z. et al. Nat. Catal. 1, 156–162 (2018).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Kim, H. W. et al. Nat. Catal. 1, 282–290 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Xia, C. et al. Nat. Catal. 3, 125–134 (2020).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Traube, M. Ber. Kgl. Akad. Wiss. 2, 1041–1050 (1887).

    Google Scholar 

  8. Jiang, K. et al. Nat. Commun. 10, 3997 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Shi, X. et al. Nat. Commun. 8, 701 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Jung, E. et al. Nat. Mater. 19, 436–442 (2020).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Gao, J. et al. Chem 6, 1–17 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Yang, S. et al. ACS Catal. 8, 4064–4081 (2018).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Frumkin, A., Nekrasov, L., Levich, B. & Ivanov, J. J. Electroanal. Chem. 1, 84–90 (1959).

    Google Scholar 

  14. Chong, L. et al. Science 362, 1276–1281 (2018).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. Barros, W. R., Reis, R. M., Rocha, R. S. & Lanza, M. R. Electrochim. Acta 104, 12–18 (2013).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. Chen, Z. et al. React. Chem. Eng. 2, 239–245 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Liu, M. et al. Nature 537, 382–386 (2016).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. Foster, S. L. et al. Nat. Catal. 1, 490–500 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


This work was not directly funded. H.W. is a CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar in the Bio-inspired Solar Energy Program. C.X. thanks the support from J. Evans Attwell-Welch Postdoctoral Fellowship. H.W. acknowledges support from the Welch Foundation Research Grant.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations



The project was conceptualized by C.X. and H.W., and supervised by H.W.; C.X. and H.W. wrote the manuscript with input from J.K.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Haotian Wang.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Xia, C., Kim, J.Y.(. & Wang, H. Recommended practice to report selectivity in electrochemical synthesis of H2O2. Nat Catal 3, 605–607 (2020).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing