Nanostructured tin catalysts for selective electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide to formate

Sheng Zhang, Peng Kang, Thomas J Meyer
Journal of the American Chemical Society 2014 February 5, 136 (5): 1734-7
High surface area tin oxide nanocrystals prepared by a facile hydrothermal method are evaluated as electrocatalysts toward CO2 reduction to formate. At these novel nanostructured tin catalysts, CO2 reduction occurs selectively to formate at overpotentials as low as ∼340 mV. In aqueous NaHCO3 solutions, maximum Faradaic efficiencies for formate production of >93% have been reached with high stability and current densities of >10 mA/cm(2) on graphene supports. The notable reactivity toward CO2 reduction achieved here may arise from a compromise between the strength of the interaction between CO2(•-) and the nanoscale tin surface and subsequent kinetic activation toward protonation and further reduction.

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