Low overpotential and high current CO2 reduction with surface reconstructed Cu foam electrodes

S., Min Yang X., Lu A.-Y., Tseng C.-C., Hedhili M.N., Li L.-J., Huang K.-W.
Nano Energy, volume 27, pp. 121-129, (2016)

Low overpotential and high current CO2 reduction with surface reconstructed Cu foam electrodes

Keywords

CO2 reduction, Cu foam electrode, Surface reconstruction, High current density, Low overpotential

Abstract

​While recent reports have demonstrated that oxide-derived Cu-based electrodes exhibit high selectivity for CO2 reduction at low overpotential, the low catalytic current density (<2 mA/cm2 at −0.45 V vs. RHE) still largely limits its applications for large-scale fuel synthesis. Here we report an extremely high current density for CO2 reduction at low overpotential using a Cu foam electrode prepared by air-oxidation and subsequent electroreduction. Apart from possessing three-dimensional (3D) open frameworks, the resulting Cu foam electrodes prepared at higher temperatures exhibit enhanced electrochemically active surface area and distinct surface structures. In particular, the Cu foam electrode prepared at 500 °C exhibits an extremely high geometric current density of ~9.4 mA/cm2 in CO2-saturated 0.1 M KHCO3 aqueous solution and achieving ~39% CO and ~23% HCOOH Faradaic efficiencies at −0.45 V vs. RHE. The high activity and significant selectivity enhancement are attributable to the formation of abundant grain-boundary supported active sites and preferable (100) and (111) facets as a result of reconstruction of Cu surface facets. This work demonstrates that the structural integration of Cu foam with open 3D frameworks and the favorable surface structures is a promising strategy to develop an advanced Cu electrocatalyst that can operate at high current density and low overpotential for CO2 reduction.

Code

DOI: 10.1016/j.nanoen.2016.06.043

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