Scientists Enhance Carbon Dioxide Electroreduction Efficiency

A schematic illustrates the interplay between size leverage and ensemble effects, promoting the electroreduction of CO2 to CO over finely tuned AgPd nanoalloys. Credit: Zeng Qing.

Scientists hailing from the Institute of Process Engineering (IPE) at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in collaboration with Yanshan University, have put forth a strategy to enhance the faradaic efficiency of CO in electrocatalytic CO2 reduction reactions (eCO2RR). This approach holds immense promise for addressing pressing climate concerns and generating valuable chemical feedstock by harnessing renewable energy sources. Notably, this strategy shows potential for producing CO via eCO2RR under ambient conditions.

This groundbreaking research was recently published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials on August 30th. Among the array of products that can be obtained through eCO2RR, including formate, CO, CH4, C2H4, C2H5OH, and CH3OH, CO stands out as particularly significant. However, despite the advantages of performing eCO2RR at room temperature and pressure, its faradaic efficiency is hampered by a higher overpotential, making it less favorable compared to the kinetically preferred hydrogen evolution reaction (HER).

According to Professor Yang Jun from IPE, the corresponding author of the study, addressing this challenge hinges on designing and developing efficient electrocatalysts that favor eCO2RR over HER. The researchers employed theoretical calculations to confirm that ensemble sites comprised of Ag and Pd atoms could bolster eCO2RR by either reducing CO adsorption or enhancing COOH adsorption. Building on this insight, the team devised a strategy to create finely-sized AgPd alloy nanoparticles, harnessing the synergy between ensemble effects and size manipulation. This innovative approach led to an impressive CO faradaic efficiency of up to 98.9% in eCO2RR, coupled with robust durability.

Professor Yang commented, “This work underscores the tailoring of active sites through atomic ensembles, offering a practical avenue for the systematic design of advanced electrocatalysts geared toward highly efficient eCO2RR.”

For further details, please refer to the paper titled “Fine AgPd Nanoalloys Achieving Size and Ensemble Synergy for High‐Efficiency CO2 to CO Electroreduction,” authored by Qing Zeng et al., published in Advanced Functional Materials in 2023. [DOI: 10.1002/adfm.202307444]

Journal information: Advanced Functional Materials.

[Source: Chinese Academy of Sciences. Retrieved from on September 11, 2023.]

Source: Chinese Academy of Sciences

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