American Chemical Society
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High-Rate Electrochemical Reduction of Carbon Monoxide to Ethylene Using Cu-Nanoparticle-Based Gas Diffusion Electrodes

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journal contribution
posted on 2018-03-13, 00:00 authored by Lihao Han, Wu Zhou, Chengxiang Xiang
Gas diffusion electrodes (GDEs) with high electrochemically active surface areas (ECSAs) and triple-phase boundaries for efficient gas, electron, and ion transport offer a unique opportunity for high-rate electrochemical CO reduction (COR) in relative to traditional aqueous configurations. Cu-nanoparticle-based GDEs were fabricated by applying a mixture of carbon powders, copper acetate aqueous solution, and Teflon onto a Cu gauze substrate. The catalyst-coated substrate was air-dried, mechanically pressed, and subsequently annealed under forming gas to produce GDEs. Two distinctive types of GDE configurations, a flow-through configuration and a flow-by configuration, were constructed, characterized, and tested to quantitatively evaluate the effects of reactant gas transport on the activity and the selectivity of the GDE materials for COR. In the flow-through configuration, a high partial current density of 50.8 mA cm–2 for COR to C2H4 was achieved at −0.85 V vs RHE in 10 M KOH at −15 °C, while in the flow-by configuration with the same catalyst materials the partial current density for C2H4 generation was limited to <1 mA cm–2.