Regulating C–C coupling in thermocatalytic and electrocatalytic COx conversion based on surface science
Heterogeneous thermocatalytic and electrocatalytic conversion of COx including CO and CO2 to value-added products, which can be performed through three promising approaches – syngas conversion, CO2 hydrogenation and CO2 electroreduction, are highly important to achieving a carbon-neutral cycle associated with the continuing consumption of fossil fuels. Toward the formation of value-added C2+ products, precise regulation of C–C coupling requires rational design of catalysts in all the three approaches, which usually share similar fundamentals from the viewpoint of surface science. In this article, we outline the recent advances in catalyst design for controlling C–C coupling in syngas conversion, CO2 hydrogenation and CO2 electroreduction from the viewpoint of surface science. Specifically, the fundamental insights are provided for each conversion approach, which makes a connection between thermocatalysis and electrocatalysis in terms of catalytic site design. Finally, the challenges and opportunities are discussed in the hope of inspiring new ideas to achieve more efficient C–C coupling in thermocatalytic and electrocatalytic COx conversion.