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Issue 5, 2012
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New insights into the electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide on metallic copper surfaces

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Abstract

We report new insights into the electrochemical reduction of CO2 on a metallic copper surface, enabled by the development of an experimental methodology with unprecedented sensitivity for the identification and quantification of CO2 electroreduction products. This involves a custom electrochemical cell designed to maximize product concentrations coupled to gas chromatography and nuclear magnetic resonance for the identification and quantification of gas and liquid products, respectively. We studied copper across a range of potentials and observed a total of 16 different CO2 reduction products, five of which are reported here for the first time, thus providing the most complete view of the reaction chemistry reported to date. Taking into account the chemical identities of the wide range of C1–C3 products generated and the potential-dependence of their turnover frequencies, mechanistic information is deduced. We discuss a scheme for the formation of multicarbon products involving enol-like surface intermediates as a possible pathway, accounting for the observed selectivity for eleven distinct C2+ oxygenated products including aldehydes, ketones, alcohols, and carboxylic acids.

Graphical abstract: New insights into the electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide on metallic copper surfaces

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Publication details

The article was received on 30 Jan 2012, accepted on 23 Feb 2012 and first published on 24 Feb 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2EE21234J
Citation: Energy Environ. Sci., 2012,5, 7050-7059
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    New insights into the electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide on metallic copper surfaces

    K. P. Kuhl, E. R. Cave, D. N. Abram and T. F. Jaramillo, Energy Environ. Sci., 2012, 5, 7050
    DOI: 10.1039/C2EE21234J

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