Copper Selenide Nanocatalyst for Conversion of CO2 to Methanol

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  • Published: 09 February 2019
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
  • Source / Publisher: Nature Communications/Springer Nature Limited
thumbnail image: Copper Selenide Nanocatalyst for Conversion of CO<sub>2</sub> to Methanol

The electroreduction of carbon dioxide to hydrocarbons or alcohols could provide sustainable fuels. However, the conversion to, e.g., methanol, has sluggish kinetics, because six electrons/protons have to be transferred per molecule. Highly efficient electrocatalysts are, thus, needed.

Qinggong Zhu, Buxing Han, Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences and University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, and colleagues have developed a copper selenide nanocatalyst for the electrochemical reduction of CO2 to methanol. The team combined CuCl22H2O, Na2SeO3, and hydroxylamine to create the catalyst. The protonated amine forms coordination bonds with the Se component and acts as a template for the nanoparticle synthesis.

The obtained nanoparticles were mixed with carbon black and applied to carbon paper to prepare electrodes. These electrodes can be used for the electrochemical reduction of CO2 to methanol with high current density, a low overpotential, a Faradaic efficiency of 77.6 %. According to the researchers, Cu and Se have cooperative effects for catalyzing the reaction, and other transition metal selenides might also be useful as electrocatalysts for CO2 reduction.


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