Formation of Methanol by CO2 Reduction

  • ChemPubSoc Europe Logo
  • Author: Angewandte Chemie International Edition
  • Published Date: 23 November 2018
  • Source / Publisher: Angewandte Chemie International Edition/Wiley-VCH
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
thumbnail image: Formation of Methanol by CO<sub>2</sub> Reduction

The photoelectrochemical reduction of CO2 to form fuels could help to reduce global warming. Compared to possible gaseous products, liquids such as methanol are easier to store and transport. However, methanol production involves six-proton-coupled six-electron-transfer processes, which makes this reaction kinetically sluggish. This means it is difficult to selectively produce methanol by CO2 reduction. It is especially challenging in aqueous electrolytes, where proton reduction (i.e., hydrogen production) is a highly competitive reaction.

Jinlong Gong, Tianjin University, China, and colleagues have developed a cathode for the increased photoelectrochemical production of methanol. The team created a well-defined Cu/Cu2O interface by introducing metallic Cu nanoparticles onto Cu2O films via electron-beam evaporation. The Cu/Cu2O interfaces (pictured) greatly enhance the binding of surface‐adsorbed hydrogen atoms (H*) and reduce the binding of CO*. This provides balanced amounts of H* and CO* intermediates for methanol production.

In a photoelectrochemical cell with a TiO2 model photoanode, a Cu/Cu2O dark cathode has a Faradaic efficiency of up to 53.6 % for methanol production. According to the researchers, this approach provides a method for high‐efficiency, low‐cost, and stable methanol generation.


Article Views: 1521

Sign in Area

Please sign in below

Additional Sign In options

Please note that to comment on an article you must be registered and logged in.
Registration is for free, you may already be registered to receive, e.g., the newsletter. When you register on this website, please ensure you view our terms and conditions. All comments are subject to moderation.

Article Comments - To add a comment please sign in

Bookmark and Share

If you would like to reuse any content, in print or online, from, please contact us first for permission. more

CONNECT: on Facebook on Twitter on YouTube on LinkedIn Sign up for our free newsletter

A product of ChemPubSoc Europe (16 European Chemical Societies)and Wiley-VCH