Tuning the Composition of Electrodeposited Bimetallic Tin-Lead Catalysts for Enhanced Activity and Durability in Carbon Dioxide Electroreduction to Formate

Colin E Moore, Előd L Gyenge
ChemSusChem 2017 September 11, 10 (17): 3512-3519
Bimetallic Sn-Pb catalysts with five different Sn/Pb atomic ratios were electrodeposited on Teflonated carbon paper and non-Teflonated carbon cloth using both fluoroborate- and oxide-containing deposition media to produce catalysts for the electrochemical reduction of CO2 (ERC) to formate (HCOO(-) ). The interaction between catalyst composition, morphology, substrate, and deposition media was investigated by using cyclic voltammetry and constant potential electrolysis at -2.0 V versus Ag/AgCl for 2 h in 0.5 m KHCO3 . The catalysts were analyzed before and after electrolysis by using SEM and XRD to determine the mechanisms of Faradaic efficiency loss and degradation. Catalysts that are mainly Sn with 15-35 at % Pb generated Faradaic efficiencies up to 95 % with a stable performance. However, pure Sn catalysts showed high initial stage formate production rates but experienced an extensive (up to 30 %) decrease of the Faradaic efficiency. The XRD results demonstrated the presence of polycrystalline SnO2 after electrolysis using Sn-Pb catalysts with 35 at % Pb and its absence in the case of pure Sn. It is proposed that the presence of Pb (15-35 at %) in mainly Sn catalysts stabilized SnO2 , which is responsible for the enhanced Faradaic efficiency and catalytic durability in the ERC.

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