Photoassisted Decomposition of Malonic Acid on TiO2 Studied by in Situ Attenuated Total Reflection Infrared Spectroscopy

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Université de Neuchâtel, Institut de Microtechnique, Rue Emile-Argand 11, 2009 Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Cite this: J. Phys. Chem. B 2006, 110, 30, 14898–14904
Publication Date (Web):July 7, 2006
Copyright © 2006 American Chemical Society
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The photoassisted mineralization, i.e., conversion to CO2 and water, of malonic acid over P25 TiO2 was investigated by in situ attenuated total reflection infrared (ATR-IR) spectroscopy in a small volume flow-through cell. Reassignment of the vibrational bands of adsorbed malonic acid, assisted by deuterium labeling, reveals two dissimilar carboxylate groups within the molecule. This indicates adsorption via both carboxylate groups, one in a bridging or bidentate and the other in monodentate coordination. During irradiation the coverage of malonic acid strongly decreases, and oxalate is observed on the surface in at least two different adsorption modes. The major oxalate species observed during irradiation is characterized by monodentate coordination of both carboxylate groups. In the dark, however, part of these species adopts another adsorption mode, possibly interacting only with one carboxylate group. During band gap illumination a large fraction of the surface is not covered by acid. Oxalate is a major intermediate in the mineralization of malonic acid. However, the observed transient kinetics of adsorbed malonic and oxalic acid indicates additional pathways not involving oxalate. The rate constant for oxalate decomposition is slightly larger than the one for oxalate formation from malonic acid. As the oxalate is desorbing slowly from the surface its concentration in the liquid phase is small, despite the fact that it is a major intermediate in the mineralization of malonic acid.


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