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Issue 25, 2019
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Cu nanowire-catalyzed electrochemical reduction of CO or CO2

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We prepared micrometer long Cu nanowires (NWs) of 25 and 50 nm diameters and studied their electrocatalysis for electrochemical reduction of CO/CO2 in 0.1 M KHCO3 at room temperature. The 50 nm NWs showed better selectivity than the 25 nm NWs, and catalyzed CO reduction to C2-hydrocarbons (C2H4 + C2H6) with a combined faradaic efficiency (FE) of 60% (C2H4 FE of 35% and mass activity of 4.25 A g−1 Cu) at −1.1 V (vs. reversible hydrogen electrode). The NW-catalyzed CO2 reduction is less efficient due to the extra CO2 to CO step required for the formation of C2-hydrocarbons. This experimental evidence combined with DFT calculations suggests that CO is an important intermediate and NWs provide a large Cu(100) surface for *CO hydrogenation (to *CHO) and *CO–*CHO coupling, leading to more selective reduction of CO than CO2 towards C2-hydrocarbons.

Graphical abstract: Cu nanowire-catalyzed electrochemical reduction of CO or CO2

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The article was received on 12 Apr 2019, accepted on 05 Jun 2019 and first published on 14 Jun 2019

Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C9NR03170G
Nanoscale, 2019,11, 12075-12079

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    Cu nanowire-catalyzed electrochemical reduction of CO or CO2

    H. Zhang, Y. Zhang, Y. Li, S. Ahn, G. T. R. Palmore, J. Fu, A. A. Peterson and S. Sun, Nanoscale, 2019, 11, 12075
    DOI: 10.1039/C9NR03170G

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