Designing a Zn-Ag Catalyst Matrix and Electrolyzer System for CO2 Conversion to CO and Beyond.
Advanced materials (Deerfield Beach, Fla.)
CO2 emissions can be transformed into high-added-value commodities through CO2 electrocatalysis; however, efficient low-cost electrocatalysts are needed for global scale-up. Inspired by other emerging technologies, the authors report the development of a gas diffusion electrode containing highly dispersed Ag sites in a low-cost Zn matrix. This catalyst shows unprecedented Ag mass activity for CO production: -614mAcm-2 at 0.17mgof Ag. Subsequent electrolyte engineering demonstrates that halide anions can further improve stability and activity of the Zn-Ag catalyst, outperforming pure Ag and Au. Membrane electrode assemblies are constructed and coupled to a microbial process that converts the CO to acetate and ethanol. Combined, these concepts present pathways to design catalysts and systems for CO2 conversion toward sought-after products.
View details for DOI 10.1002/adma.202103963
View details for PubMedID 34672402
Oxidation State and Surface Reconstruction of Cu under CO2 Reduction Conditions from In Situ X-ray Characterization.
Journal of the American Chemical Society
The electrochemical CO2 reduction reaction (CO2RR) using Cu-based catalysts holds great potential for producing valuable multi-carbon products from renewable energy. However, the chemical and structural state of Cu catalyst surfaces during the CO2RR remains a matter of debate. Here, we show the structural evolution of the near-surface region of polycrystalline Cu electrodes under in situ conditions through a combination of grazing incidence X-ray absorption spectroscopy (GIXAS) and X-ray diffraction (GIXRD). The in situ GIXAS reveals that the surface oxide layer is fully reduced to metallic Cu before the onset potential for CO2RR, and the catalyst maintains the metallic state across the potentials relevant to the CO2RR. We also find a preferential surface reconstruction of the polycrystalline Cu surface toward (100) facets in the presence of CO2. Quantitative analysis of the reconstruction profiles reveals that the degree of reconstruction increases with increasingly negative applied potentials, and it persists when the applied potential returns to more positive values. These findings show that the surface of Cu electrocatalysts is dynamic during the CO2RR, and emphasize the importance of in situ characterization to understand the surface structure and its role in electrocatalysis.
View details for DOI 10.1021/jacs.0c10017
View details for PubMedID 33382947