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J Am Chem Soc. 2014 Feb 5;136(5):1734-7. doi: 10.1021/ja4113885. Epub 2014 Jan 21.

Nanostructured tin catalysts for selective electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide to formate.

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Department of Chemistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill , Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, United States.


High surface area tin oxide nanocrystals prepared by a facile hydrothermal method are evaluated as electrocatalysts toward CO2 reduction to formate. At these novel nanostructured tin catalysts, CO2 reduction occurs selectively to formate at overpotentials as low as ∼340 mV. In aqueous NaHCO3 solutions, maximum Faradaic efficiencies for formate production of >93% have been reached with high stability and current densities of >10 mA/cm(2) on graphene supports. The notable reactivity toward CO2 reduction achieved here may arise from a compromise between the strength of the interaction between CO2(•-) and the nanoscale tin surface and subsequent kinetic activation toward protonation and further reduction.


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