Electrochemical Reduction of CO2 at Metal Electrodes in a Distillable Ionic Liquid

Lu Chen, Si-Xuan Guo, Fengwang Li, Cameron Bentley, Mike Horne, Alan M Bond, Jie Zhang
ChemSusChem 2016 June 8, 9 (11): 1271-8
The electroreduction of CO2 in the distillable ionic liquid dimethylammonium dimethylcarbamate (dimcarb) has been investigated with 17 metal electrodes. Analysis of the electrolysis products reveals that aluminum, bismuth, lead, copper, nickel, palladium, platinum, iron, molybdenum, titanium and zirconium electroreduce the available protons in dimcarb to hydrogen rather than reducing CO2 . Conversely, indium, tin, zinc, silver and gold are able to catalyze the reduction of CO2 to predominantly carbon monoxide (CO) and to a lesser extent, formate ([HCOO](-) ). In all cases, the applied potential was found to have a minimal influence on the distribution of the reduction products. Overall, indium was found to be the best electrocatalyst for CO2 reduction in dimcarb, with faradaic efficiencies of approximately 45 % and 40 % for the generation of CO and [HCOO](-) , respectively, at a potential of -1.34 V versus Cc(+/0) (Cc(+) =cobaltocenium) employing a dimethylamine to CO2 ratio of less than 1.8:1.

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