Electrochemical CO2 reduction to ethylene by ultrathin CuO nanoplate arrays

Nat Commun. 2022 Apr 6;13(1):1877. doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-29428-9.

ABSTRACT

Electrochemical reduction of CO2 to multi-carbon fuels and chemical feedstocks is an appealing approach to mitigate excessive CO2 emissions. However, the reported catalysts always show either a low Faradaic efficiency of the C2+ product or poor long-term stability. Herein, we report a facile and scalable anodic corrosion method to synthesize oxygen-rich ultrathin CuO nanoplate arrays, which form Cu/Cu2O heterogeneous interfaces through self-evolution during electrocatalysis. The catalyst exhibits a high C2H4 Faradaic efficiency of 84.5%, stable electrolysis for ~55 h in a flow cell using a neutral KCl electrolyte, and a full-cell ethylene energy efficiency of 27.6% at 200 mA cm-2 in a membrane electrode assembly electrolyzer. Mechanism analyses reveal that the stable nanostructures, stable Cu/Cu2O interfaces, and enhanced adsorption of the *OCCOH intermediate preserve selective and prolonged C2H4 production. The robust and scalable produced catalyst coupled with mild electrolytic conditions facilitates the practical application of electrochemical CO2 reduction.

PMID:35387994 | DOI:10.1038/s41467-022-29428-9

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