Recent advances in the nanoengineering of electrocatalysts for CO2 reduction
Emissions of CO2 from fossil fuel combustion and industrial processes have been regarded as the dominant cause of global warming. Electrochemical CO2 reduction (ECR), ideally in aqueous media, could potentially solve this problem by the storage of energy from renewable sources in the form of chemical energy in fuels or value-added chemicals in a sustainable manner. However, because of the sluggish reaction kinetics of the ECR, efficient, selective, and durable electrocatalysts are required to increase the rate this reaction. Despite considerable progress in using bulk metallic electrodes for catalyzing the ECR, greater efforts are still needed to tackle this grand challenge. In this Review, we highlight recent progress in using nanoengineering strategies to promote the electrocatalysts for the ECR. Through these approaches, considerable improvements in catalytic performance have been achieved. An outlook of future developments in applying and optimizing these strategies is also proposed.