Electrocatalytic CO2 reduction on earth abundant 2D Mo2C and Ti3C2 MXenes†
Mo2C and Ti3C2 MXenes were investigated as earth-abundant electrocatalyts for the CO2 reduction reaction (CO2RR). Mo2C and Ti3C2 exhibited faradaic efficiencies of 90% (250 mV overpotential) and 65% (650 mV overpotential), respectively, for the reduction of CO2 to CO in acetonitrile using an ionic liquid electrolyte. The use of ionic liquid 1-ethyl-2-methylimidazolium tetrafluoroborate as an electrolyte in organic solvent suppressed the competing hydrogen evolution reaction. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations suggested that the catalytic active sites are oxygen vacancy sites on both MXene surfaces. Also, a spontaneous dissociation of adsorbed COOH species to a water molecule and adsorbed CO on Mo2C promote the CO2RR.