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Nat Commun. 2016 Feb 18;7:10748. doi: 10.1038/ncomms10748.

Three-dimensional porous hollow fibre copper electrodes for efficient and high-rate electrochemical carbon dioxide reduction.

Author information

1
PhotoCatalytic Synthesis Group, Faculty of Science and Technology, MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Twente, Meander 229, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands.
2
College of Engineering, University of Baghdad, P.O. Box 47024, 10071 Aljadria, Baghdad, Iraq.
3
Leiden Institute of Chemistry, Leiden University, Einsteinweg 55, P.O. Box 9502, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands.
4
Inorganic Membranes Group, Faculty of Science and Technology, MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands.
5
Molecular Nanofabrication Group, Faculty of Science and Technology, MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Aqueous-phase electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide requires an active, earth-abundant electrocatalyst, as well as highly efficient mass transport. Here we report the design of a porous hollow fibre copper electrode with a compact three-dimensional geometry, which provides a large area, three-phase boundary for gas-liquid reactions. The performance of the copper electrode is significantly enhanced; at overpotentials between 200 and 400 mV, faradaic efficiencies for carbon dioxide reduction up to 85% are obtained. Moreover, the carbon monoxide formation rate is at least one order of magnitude larger when compared with state-of-the-art nanocrystalline copper electrodes. Copper hollow fibre electrodes can be prepared via a facile method that is compatible with existing large-scale production processes. The results of this study may inspire the development of new types of microtubular electrodes for electrochemical processes in which at least one gas-phase reactant is involved, such as in fuel cell technology.

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