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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2017 Sep 27;9(38):32782-32789. doi: 10.1021/acsami.7b10421. Epub 2017 Sep 15.

Selective Electrochemical Reduction of CO2 to Ethylene on Nanopores-Modified Copper Electrodes in Aqueous Solution.

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School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Nanyang Technological University , 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798 Singapore.
College of Chemistry and Life Science, Institution Hubei University of Education , Wuhan 430205 People's Republic of China.
Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, University of Cambridge , New Museums Site, Pembroke Street, Cambridge CB2 3RA, United Kingdom.


Electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide was carried out on copper foil electrodes modified with nanopores on the surface. Such nanopores modified structure was obtained through an alloying-dealloying process. Scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy confirmed the formation of alloy layer and the final nanoporous morphology of such copper electrodes. When used in electrolysis process, the as-prepared nanopores-modified electrodes can suppress the Faradaic efficiency toward methane to less than 1%, while keeping that of ethylene in a high level of 35% in aqueous 0.1 M KHCO3 solution under -1.3 V (vs reversible hydrogen electrode), thus revealing a remarkable selectivity toward ethylene production. The high yield of ethylene can be ascribed to the exposed specific crystalline orientations.


CO2 electrocatalytic reduction; copper foil; crystalline orientation; dealloy; nanoporous structure; selectivity


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