Metal-Doped Nitrogenated Carbon as an Efficient Catalyst for Direct CO2 Electroreduction to CO and Hydrocarbons

Ana Sofia Varela, Nastaran Ranjbar Sahraie, Julian Steinberg, Wen Ju, Hyung-Suk Oh, Peter Strasser
Angewandte Chemie 2015 September 7, 54 (37): 10758-62
This study explores the kinetics, mechanism, and active sites of the CO2 electroreduction reaction (CO2RR) to syngas and hydrocarbons on a class of functionalized solid carbon-based catalysts. Commercial carbon blacks were functionalized with nitrogen and Fe and/or Mn ions using pyrolysis and acid leaching. The resulting solid powder catalysts were found to be active and highly CO selective electrocatalysts in the electroreduction of CO2 to CO/H2 mixtures outperforming a low-area polycrystalline gold benchmark. Unspecific with respect to the nature of the metal, CO production is believed to occur on nitrogen functionalities in competition with hydrogen evolution. Evidence is provided that sufficiently strong interaction between CO and the metal enables the protonation of CO and the formation of hydrocarbons. Our results highlight a promising new class of low-cost, abundant electrocatalysts for synthetic fuel production from CO2 .

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