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Enhanced C2 and C3 Product Selectivity in Electrochemical CO2 Reduction on Carbon-Doped Copper Oxide Catalysts Prepared by Deep Eutectic Solvent Calcination

: Iwanow, Melanie; Seidler, Johannes; Vieira, Luciana; Kaiser, Manuela; Opdenbosch, Daniel Van; Zollfrank, Cordt; Gärtner, Tobias; Richter, Michael; König, Burkhard; Sieber, Volker

Fulltext ()

Catalysts 11 (2021), No.5, Art. 542, pp. 14
ISSN: 2073-4344
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IGB ()
copper oxide catalysts; catalyst preparation; calcination; deep eutectic solvents; electrochemical CO2 reduction

Copper and its oxides are the main catalyst materials able to promote the formation of hydrocarbons from the electrocatalytic CO2 conversion. Herein, we describe a novel preparation method for carbon-doped copper oxide catalysts based on an oxidative thermal treatment of copper-containing deep eutectic solvents (DES). XRD and EDX analysis of the samples show that thermal treatment at 500 °C in air for a prolonged time (60 min) provides exclusively carbon-doped copper(II) oxide catalysts, whereas shorter calcination time leads to a mixture of less oxidized forms of copper (Cu2O and Cu0), CuO, and a higher carbon content from the DES. Chronoamperometry of the electrode containing the prepared materials in 0.5 M KHCO3 electrolyte show the reduction of CuO to less oxidized copper species. The materials prepared by the use of different DES, copper precursors and calcination times were used as electrocatalysts for the electrochemical CO2 reduction. Chemical analysis of the products reveals an enhanced selectivity toward C2 and C3 products for the catalyst prepared from the DES galactose-urea with copper nanoparticles and calcination for 60 min in air. The electrocatalytic activity of the prepared materials were compared to commercial CuO and showed a higher product concentration at −1.7 V vs. Ag/AgCl, with formation rates of 7.4, 6.0, and 10.4 µmol h−1 cm−2 for ethanol, n-propanol, and ethylene, respectively.