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Enhanced selectivity of carbonaceous products from electrochemical reduction of CO2 in aqueous media

Lookup NU author(s): Hang Xiang, Dr Shahid Rasul, Emeritus Professor Keith Scott, Dr Jose Portoles, Professor Peter Cumpson, Professor Eileen Yu



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This study highlights the importance of CO 2 supply method and impact of electrolyte alkalinity in aqueous electrochemical CO 2 reduction using Cu x O catalyst. Two different CO 2 supply methods using a two-chamber (2C) cell with CO 2 purging into catholyte and a CO 2 gas diffusion electrode (GDE) cell were compared. Faradaic efficiency (FE) of carbonaceous products in GDE cell was more than 3-folds higher than the 2C cell due to improved CO 2 mass transfer. From the investigation of alkaline catholyte in GDE cell, the higher catholyte alkalinity led to higher current density and higher FE of carbonaceous products with a better selectivity of C 2 (ethanol and ethylene). The reason lies in the OH groups around catalyst surface which improve the reaction kinetics and moreover stabilize the catalyst surface oxygen during the reduction process. With the potential of -1.17 V (RHE) in 2.0 M KOH, C 2 FE of 40% and current density of -234 mA cm -2 were achieved. The production rate of ethylene and ethanol was respectively 0.105 mg min -1 and 0.035 mg min -1 on 2 cm 2 electrode with CO 2 flow rate 15 ml min -1 , which are promising for further development and scale-up.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Xiang H, Rasul S, Scott K, Portoles J, Cumpson P, Yu EH

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of CO2 Utilization

Year: 2019

Volume: 30

Pages: 214-221

Print publication date: 01/03/2019

Online publication date: 22/02/2019

Acceptance date: 12/02/2019

Date deposited: 02/04/2019

ISSN (print): 2212-9820

ISSN (electronic): 2212-9839

Publisher: Elsevier BV


DOI: 10.1016/j.jcou.2019.02.007


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