Electrochemical reduction of CO2 to formate is economically attractive but improving the reaction selectivity and activity remains challenging. Fu et al. reported that B dopped Bi electrocatalyst converted CO2 into formate with high activity and selectivity in a wide potential window. In their paper (doi.org/10.1007/s40820-021-00772-7), boron (B) atoms were introduced to modify the local electronic structure of bismuth catalyst with positive valence sites.
B-doped Bi catalysts were prepared by a facile one-step process. In details, various amount of Bi(NO3)3 was added into highly concentrated NaBH4 solution followed by washing and freeze-drying. The CO2 reduction experiments were performed in a gastight two-compartment H-cell with an ion exchange membrane (Nafon117) as the separator in the middle of the cell. The optimized Bi-B catalysts exhibited a significantly wide potential window of 494 mV with formate faradaic efficiency >90%, and an ultrahigh partial current density of 56.5 mA cm−2 with faradaic efficiency of 95.1% at ‒1.22 V for formate generation.
FE (a) and partial current density (b) for formate generation using Bi-B catalysts
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