Thermodynamically driven self-formation of Ag nanoparticles in Zn-embedded carbon nanofibers for efficient electrochemical CO2 reduction

RSC Adv. 2021 Jul 15;11(40):24702-24708. doi: 10.1039/d1ra02463a. eCollection 2021 Jul 13.

ABSTRACT

The electrochemical CO2 reduction reaction (CO2RR), which converts CO2 into value-added feedstocks and renewable fuels, has been increasingly studied as a next-generation energy and environmental solution. Here, we report that single-atom metal sites distributed around active materials can enhance the CO2RR performance by controlling the Lewis acidity-based local CO2 concentration. By utilizing the oxidation Gibbs free energy difference between silver (Ag), zinc (Zn), and carbon (C), we can produce Ag nanoparticle-embedded carbon nanofibers (CNFs) where Zn is atomically dispersed by a one-pot, self-forming thermal calcination process. The CO2RR performance of AgZn-CNF was investigated by a flow cell with a gas diffusion electrode (GDE). Compared to Ag-CNFs without Zn species (53% at -0.85 V vs. RHE), the faradaic efficiency (FE) of carbon monoxide (CO) was approximately 20% higher in AgZn-CNF (75% at -0.82 V vs. RHE) with 1 M KOH electrolyte.

PMID:35481048 | PMC:PMC9036959 | DOI:10.1039/d1ra02463a

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