【Nature Communications】A hydrophobic Cu/Cu20 Sheet Catalyst for Selective Electroreduction of CO to Ethanol
As the carbon emission of fossil fuels is increasing globally year by year, along with the severe problems of energy crisis and environmental pollution, how to convert carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide into energy-saving fuels and high value-added chemicals is catching the eyes of more researchers. Electrocatalytic reduction of carbon monoxide into fuels or chemicals with two or more carbons is very attractive due to their high energy density and economic value. Herein we demonstrate the synthesis of a hydrophobic Cu/Cu2O sheet catalyst with hydrophobic n-butylamine layer and its application in CO electroreduction. The CO reduction on this catalyst produces two or more carbon products with a Faradaic efficiency of 93.5% and partial current density of 151 mA cm−2 at the potential of −0.70 V versus a reversible hydrogen electrode. A Faradaic efficiency of 68.8% and partial current density of 111 mA cm−2 for ethanol were reached, which is very high in comparison to all previous reports of CO2/CO electroreduction with a total current density higher than 10 mA cm−2. The as-prepared catalyst also showed impressive stability that the activity and selectivity for two or more carbon products could remain even after 100 operating hours. This work opens a way for efficient electrocatalytic conversion of CO2/CO to liquid fuels.