Boosting CO2 Electroreduction Using Advanced Electrocatalysts and Cell Configurations

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 (, 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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