(17a) CO2 Electroreduction with High Ethylene Selectivity Via Nanostructuring of Polycrystalline Copper

Authors: 
Kwon, Y., Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
Lum, Y., Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
Clark, E. L., Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
Ager, J. W., Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
Bell, A. T., University of California, Berkeley

The principal challenges involving electrochemical CO2 reduction is the ability to engineer catalysts with both high activity and selectivity. In particular, it is well-known that CO2 electroreduction with polycrystalline copper as a catalyst produces a broad distribution of products without high selectivity for any particular product. Herein, we show that nanostructuring of polycrystalline copper surfaces allows for a suppression of methane formation and an enhancement of ethylene formation. Using optimal treatment conditions, an ethylene to methane ratio of up to 50 times was obtained. Based on our results, we open up the possibility of nanostructuring of polycrystalline copper for the purpose of dramatically altering its activity and selectivity.

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