Assessing the Influence of Supercritical Carbon Dioxide on the Electrochemical Reduction to Formic Acid Using Carbon-Supported Copper Catalysts

Junge Puring, K. and Evers, O. and Prokein, M. and Siegmund, D. and Scholten, F. and Mölders, N. and Renner, M. and Roldan Cuenya, B. and Petermann, M. and Weidner, E. and Apfel, U.-P.

Volume: 10 Pages: 12783-12789
DOI: 10.1021/acscatal.0c02983
Published: 2020

The electrocatalytic reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) by means of renewable energies is widely recognized as a promising approach to establish a sustainable closed carbon cycle economy. However, widespread application is hampered by the inherent difficulty in suppressing the hydrogen evolution reaction and controlling the overall process selectivity. Further critical parameters are the limited solubility of CO2 in many electrolytes and its hindered mass transport to the electrodes. Herein we report on a series of nanoparticle Cu electrocatalysts on different carbon supports and their potential to perform the electrochemical CO2 reduction under supercritical conditions (scCO2). Herein, CO2 serves as the reaction medium and reactant alike. By a detailed comparison to ambient conditions we show that scCO2 conditions largely suppress the undesirable hydrogen evolution and favor the production of formic acid by the Cu electrodes. Furthermore, we show that scCO2 conditions significantly prevent Cu nanoparticle agglomeration during electrocatalysis. © 2020 American Chemical Society.

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