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Metal- and Carbon-Based Materials as Heterogeneous Electrocatalysts for CO₂ Reduction

Azam Khan, Haseeb Ullah, Jamal Abdul Nasir, Suzanne Shuda, Wei Chen, M Abdullah Khan
Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology 2018 May 1, 18 (5): 3031-3048
Climate change caused by continuous rising level of CO2 and the depletion of fossil fuels reserves has made it highly desirable to electrochemically convert CO2 into fuels and commodity chemicals. Implementing this approach will close the carbon cycle by recycling CO2 providing a sustainable way to store energy in the chemical bonds of portable molecular fuels. In order to make the process commercially viable, the challenge of slow kinetics of CO2 electroreduction and low energy efficiency of the process need to be addressed. To this end, this review summarizes the progress made in the past few years in the development of heterogeneous electrocatalysts with a focus on nanostructured material for CO2 reduction to CO, HCOOH/HCOO-, CH2O, CH4, H2C2O4/HC2O-4, C2H4, CH3OH, CH3CH2OH, etc. The electrocatalysts presented here are classified into metals, metal alloys, metal oxides, metal chalcogenides and carbon based materials on the basis of their elemental composition, whose performance is discussed in light of catalyst activity, product selectivity, Faradaic efficiency (FE), catalytic durability and in selected cases mechanism of CO2 electroreduction. The effect of particle size, morphology and solution-electrolyte type and composition on the catalyst property/activity is also discussed and finally some strategies are proposed for the development of CO2 electroreduction catalysts. The aim of this article is to review the recent advances in the field of CO2 electroreduction in order to further facilitate research and development in this area.


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