Influence of the PTFE Membrane Thickness on the CO2 Electroreduction Performance of Sputtered Cu-PTFE Gas Diffusion Electrodes

Huq, F. and Sanjuán, I. and Baha, S. and Braun, M. and Kostka, A. and Chanda, V. and Junqueira, J.R.C. and Sikdar, N. and Ludwig, A. and Andronescu, C.

Volume: 9 Pages:
DOI: 10.1002/celc.202101279
Published: 2022

Gas diffusion electrodes (GDE) obtained by sputtering metal films on polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) membranes are among the most performant electrodes used to electrochemically reduce CO2. The present work reveals several essential aspects for fabricating performant PTFE-based gas diffusion electrodes (GDEs) for CO2 electroreduction (CO2R). We show that adding an additive layer (a mixture of carbon and Nafion™ or Nafion™ only) is required for stabilizing the metal catalyst film (Cu), deposited via sputtering on the PTFE membrane, during the CO2R experiments. We found that the PTFE membrane thickness used in the GDE fabrication plays an essential role in electrode performance. The quantification of the products formed during the CO2R conducted in a flow-cell electrolyzer revealed that on thinner membranes, CO2R is the dominant process while on thicker ones, the H2 formation is promoted. Thus, the PTFE membrane influences the CO2 transport to the catalyst layer and can be used to promote the CO2R while maintaining a minimum H2 production. © 2021 The Authors. ChemElectroChem published by Wiley-VCH GmbH

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