Efficient electrolyzer for CO2 splitting in neutral water using earth-abundant materials

Arnaud Tatin, Clément Comminges, Boniface Kokoh, Cyrille Costentin, Marc Robert, Jean-Michel Savéant
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2016 May 17, 113 (20): 5526-9
Low-cost, efficient CO2-to-CO+O2 electrochemical splitting is a key step for liquid-fuel production for renewable energy storage and use of CO2 as a feedstock for chemicals. Heterogeneous catalysts for cathodic CO2-to-CO associated with an O2-evolving anodic reaction in high-energy-efficiency cells are not yet available. An iron porphyrin immobilized into a conductive Nafion/carbon powder layer is a stable cathode producing CO in pH neutral water with 90% faradaic efficiency. It is coupled with a water oxidation phosphate cobalt oxide anode in a home-made electrolyzer by means of a Nafion membrane. Current densities of approximately 1 mA/cm(2) over 30-h electrolysis are achieved at a 2.5-V cell voltage, splitting CO2 and H2O into CO and O2 with a 50% energy efficiency. Remarkably, CO2 reduction outweighs the concurrent water reduction. The setup does not prevent high-efficiency proton transport through the Nafion membrane separator: The ohmic drop loss is only 0.1 V and the pH remains stable. These results demonstrate the possibility to set up an efficient, low-voltage, electrochemical cell that converts CO2 into CO and O2 by associating a cathodic-supported molecular catalyst based on an abundant transition metal with a cheap, easy-to-prepare anodic catalyst oxidizing water into O2.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"