Earth-Abundant Metals Catalyze Energy-Efficient Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR)

Modular design of Cu nanowire
Schematic illustration of modular design of the Cu nanowire (NW)/atomically dispersed Ni-NAC hybrid catalyst for tandem electroreduction of CO2 to ethylene.

Scientific Achievement

Replacement of precious metals is achieved for chemical CDR with two earth-abundant metals working in tandem.

Significance and Impact

The electrocatalytic reduction of CO2 selectively to value-added product, ethylene, can be achieved under low voltage and large current density with catalysts based on earth-abundant Cu and Ni. 

Research Details

  • The single-atom Ni anchored on ordered mesoporous carbon enables high-rate and selective conversion of CO2 to CO, which complements the subsequent CO enrichment on Cu nanowires (NWs) for the C−C coupling to C2H4 in both batch and flow cells.
  • Ex situ/in situ infrared spectroscopy and X-ray absorption studies were performed to study the reaction mechanism and catalyst surface structures.

Reference: Yin, Z.; Yu, J.; Xie, Z.; Yu, S.-W.; Zhang, L.; Akauola, T.; Chen, J. G.;* Huang, W.;* Qi, L.;* Zhang, S.* J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2022, 144, 20931-20938. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.2c09773.