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Low-Overpotential Electroreduction of Carbon Monoxide Using Copper Nanowires

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journal contribution
posted on 30.05.2017, 00:00 by David Raciti, Liang Cao, Kenneth J. T. Livi, Paul F. Rottmann, Xin Tang, Chenyang Li, Zachary Hicks, Kit H. Bowen, Kevin J. Hemker, Tim Mueller, Chao Wang
We report on Cu nanowires as highly active and selective catalysts for electroreduction of CO at low overpotentials. The Cu nanowires were synthesized by reducing pregrown CuO nanowires, with the surface structures tailored by tuning the reduction conditions for improved catalytic performance. The optimized Cu nanowires achieved 65% faradaic efficiency (FE) for CO reduction and 50% FE toward production of ethanol at potentials more positive than −0.5 V (versus reversible hydrogen electrode, RHE). Structural analyses and computational simulations suggest that the CO reduction activity may be associated with the coordinately unsaturated (110) surface sites on the Cu nanowires.