Flame Spray Pyrolysis Derived CuO Nanoparticles for the Electrochemical Reduction of CO2 to C2+ Products
Bianca Ligt a, Marta Costa Figueiredo a, Emiel Hensen a
a Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), P.O. Box 513, Eindhoven, 5600 MB, Netherlands
Proceedings of International Conference on Frontiers in Electrocatalytic Transformations (INTERECT)
València, Spain, 2021 November 22nd - 23rd
Organizers: Elena Mas Marzá and Ward van der Stam
Poster, Bianca Ligt, 028
Publication date: 10th November 2021

The emission of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), causes severe environmental problems. By electrochemically converting anthropogenic CO2 into valuable carbon-based chemicals, not only the carbon cycle can be closed, but also renewable energy can be stored. Possible products that could be formed during the CO2 reduction reaction (CO2RR) include methane, formic acid, ethylene, ethanol and propanol. [1],[2] The catalysts that are typically utilized for the CO2RR to C2+ products are Cu-based considering it is the only transition metal that achieves reasonable faradaic efficiencies (FEs). [3],[4]

In this study, we used  flame spray pyrolysis (FSP) to prepare  CuO catalysts. The catalyst powders consisted of nanoparticles with a size of roughly 10 nm and well defined composition, as confirmed by TEM,  XRD (crystallinity) and XPS (oxidation state). To perform the electrochemical measurements, the CuO-FSP nanoparticles were integrated in a gas diffusion electrode (GDE) where CO2 can be fed in the gas phase allowing to obtain higher current densities. [5] In order to get a deeper understanding of the process conditions, the GDEs were tested by chronopotentiometric measurements in an electrochemical flow cell with different electrolyte flow rates. The obtained gas and liquid products were quantified by gas chromatography and 1H NMR, respectively. The results show that the FSP synthesized particles display FEs and selectivity for CO2 electrochemical reduction similar to Cu-based catalysts described in the literature using more complex synthesis methods. [6] Moreover, the product distribution showed to be very dependent on the operation conditions, in particular the electrolyte flow rate.

This publication is part of the research programme 'Reversible Large-scale Energy Storage' (RELEASE)  which is financed by the Dutch Research Council (NWO).

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