Electrochemical exfoliation from an industrial ingot: ultrathin metallic bismuth nanosheets for excellent CO2 capture and electrocatalytic conversion†
Formic acid (or formate) is a liquid fuel and chemical feedstock, and it is considered as one of the most useful value-added reductive products from electrochemical CO2 conversion. Green metallic Bi nanosheets are believed be a promising candidate for formic acid production in CO2 electroreduction. However, the complexity of their preparation with a low yield hinders their practical application on a large scale. Herein, we report that by using a cheap and commonly used industrial ingot, phase-pure two-dimensional bismuth nanosheets are fabricated on a large scale by a rapid electrochemical cathodic exfoliation method. In addition to featuring abundant active sites, the obtained Bi nanosheets possess exceptionally high adsorption capacity to CO2 compared to its bulk counterpart, resulting in remarkable enhancement in CO2 electroreduction with high selectivity toward formic acid over a wide range of negative potentials, high current density and satisfactory durability. This facile strategy opens a promising avenue for massive fabrication of metallic Bi nanosheets with excellent electrocatalytic performance for large-scale commercial utilization of CO2.