Quasi-square-shaped cadmium hydroxide nanocatalysts for electrochemical CO2 reduction with high efficiency†
Powered by a renewable electricity source, electrochemical CO2 reduction reaction is a promising solution to facilitate the carbon balance. However, it is still a challenge to achieve a desired product with commercial current density and high efficiency. Herein we designed quasi-square-shaped cadmium hydroxide nanocatalysts for CO2 electroreduction to CO. It was discovered that the catalyst is very active and selective for the reaction. The current density could be as high as 200 mA cm−2 with a nearly 100% selectivity in a commonly used H-type cell using the ionic liquid-based electrolyte. In addition, the faradaic efficiency of CO could reach 90% at a very low overpotential of 100 mV. Density functional theory studies and control experiments reveal that the outstanding performance of the catalyst was attributed to its unique structure. It not only provides low Cd–O coordination, but also exposes high activity (002) facet, which requires lower energy for the formation of CO. Besides, the high concentration of CO can be achieved from the low concentration CO2via an adsorption-electrolysis device.
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