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Morphology Matters: Tuning The Product Distribution Of CO2 Electroreduction On Oxide-Derived Cu Foam Catalysts

A. Dutta, Motiar Rahaman, N. Luedi, M. Mohos, P. Broekmann
Published 2016 · Chemistry

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Mesoporous Cu foams formed by a template-assisted electrodeposition process have been identified as CO2 electrocatalysts that are highly selective toward C2 product formation (C2H4 and C2H6) with C2 efficiencies (FEC2) reaching 55%. The partial current of C2 product formation was found to be higher than that of the (parasitic) hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) at any potential studied (−0.4 to −1.0 vs the reversible hydrogen electrode). Moreover, formate production could largely be suppressed at any applied potential down to efficiencies (FEformate) of ≤6%. A key point of the Cu foam catalyst activation is the in operando reduction of a Cu2O phase, thereby creating a large abundance of surface sites active for C–C coupling. The cuprous oxide phase has been formed after the Cu electrodeposition step by exposing the large-surface area catalyst to air at room temperature. The superior selectivity of the Cu foam catalyst studied herein originates from a combination of two effects, the availability of specific...
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