Ligand-free synthesis of Ag nanoparticles on carbon for CO2 electrochemical reduction
Francesco Mattarozzi a, P. Ngene a, P.E. de Jongh a
a Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis, Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science, Utrecht University, The Netherlands, Universiteitsweg, 99, Utrecht, Netherlands
Poster, Francesco Mattarozzi, 033
Publication date: 7th June 2020

The electrochemical CO2 and H2O reduction to synthetic fuels or chemicals using renewable electricity has become an enticing prospect, since it would utilize a greenhouse gas as a carbon feedstock. However, the activation of CO2 is a challenging task, due to the high stability of the molecule. The transition metal cathode is essential to steer the selectivity towards the desired products. Silver is a promising metal for CO2 electrochemical reduction, because of its relatively weak binding of CO, leading to highly selective carbon monoxide production, compared to other transition metals like Zn or Cu.
We report a method for the synthesis of ligand-free, well dispersed silver nanoparticles on different carbon supports. The synthetic procedure is based on incipient wetness impregnation, in which the tuning of process variables (i.e. activated carbon functionalization and heat treatment atmosphere) is essential to obtain small silver nanoparticles (mean particle size = 11 nm) well distributed on the carbon surface (Fig.1). Additionally, the  activities (current density) and selectivities (Faradaic efficiency) for silver nanoparticles supported on different carbon materials are compared. A remarkable selectivity towards CO reduction instead of hydrogen evolution reaction has been obtained with only with only 0.1 mg Ag cm-2 and 6% of the carbon surface covered by the active metal nanoparticles.

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