Selective electrochemical reduction of CO2 is one of the most sought-after processes because of the potential to convert a harmful greenhouse gas to a useful chemical. We have discovered that immobilized Ag nanoparticles supported on carbon exhibit enhanced Faradaic efficiency and a lower overpotential for selective reduction of CO2 to CO. These electrocatalysts were synthesized directly on the carbon support by a facile one-pot method using a cysteamine anchoring agent resulting in controlled monodispersed particle sizes. These synthesized Ag/C electrodes showed improved activities, specifically decrease of the overpotential by 300 mV at 1 mA/cm2, and 4-fold enhanced CO Faradaic efficiency at 0.75 V vs RHE with the optimal particle size of 5 nm compared to polycrystalline Ag foil. DFT calculations enlightened that the specific interaction between Ag nanoparticle and the anchoring agents modified the catalyst surface to have a selectively higher affinity to the intermediate COOH over CO, which effectively lowers the overpotential.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry