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Issue 19, 2020
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Stabilization of Cu+ by tuning a CuO–CeO2 interface for selective electrochemical CO2 reduction to ethylene

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Abstract

Electrochemical conversion of carbon dioxide (CO2) into multi-carbon fuels and chemical feedstocks is important but remains challenging. Here, we report the stabilization of Cu+ within a CuO–CeO2 interface for efficient and selective electrocatalytic CO2 reduction to ethylene under ambient conditions. Tuning the CuO/CeO2 interfacial interaction permits dramatic suppression of proton reduction and enhancement of CO2 reduction, with an ethylene faradaic efficiency (FE) as high as 50.0% at −1.1 V (vs. the reversible hydrogen electrode) in 0.1 M KHCO3, in stark contrast to 22.6% over pure CuO immobilized on carbon black (CB). The composite catalyst presents a 2.6-fold improvement in ethylene current compared to that of CuO/CB at similar overpotentials, which also exceeds many recently reported Cu-based materials. The FE of C2H4 remained at over 48.0% even after 9 h of continuous polarization. The Cu+ species are believed to be the adsorption as well as active sites for the activation of CO2 molecules, which remain almost unchanged after 1 h of electrolysis. Further density functional theory calculations demonstrate the preferred formation of Cu+ at the CuO–CeO2 interface. This work provides a simple avenue to convert CO2 into high-value hydrocarbons by rational stabilization of Cu+ species.

Graphical abstract: Stabilization of Cu+ by tuning a CuO–CeO2 interface for selective electrochemical CO2 reduction to ethylene

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
05 Jul 2020
Accepted
01 Sep 2020
First published
01 Sep 2020

Green Chem., 2020,22, 6540-6546
Article type
Paper

Stabilization of Cu+ by tuning a CuO–CeO2 interface for selective electrochemical CO2 reduction to ethylene

S. Chu, X. Yan, C. Choi, S. Hong, A. W. Robertson, J. Masa, B. Han, Y. Jung and Z. Sun, Green Chem., 2020, 22, 6540
DOI: 10.1039/D0GC02279A

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