A design principle for creating selective and robust electrocatalytic interfaces

phys.org | 1/13/2020 | Staff
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A schematic illustration showing how N-ND and N-ND/Cu composite materials are prepared. Credit: Wang et al.

To effectively counteract climate change and meet rising global energy requirements, humans must drastically change their methods for generating energy. New catalysts for a carbon-neutral conversion of energy could be of great help in facing these challenges, facilitating the shift toward the use of renewable energy sources.

Approaches - Energy - Energy - Development - Catalysts

Electrolytic approaches, which convert electrical energy into chemical potential energy, are particularly promising for the development of catalysts to reduce CO2. These approaches are generally based on the use of aqueous substances that are cheap, readily available and safe for the environment. In addition, they typically work at ambient temperatures and pressures.

Some of the most common electrocatalysts used to enable CO2 reduction reactions are precious metals, base metals, metal oxides, metal dichalcogenides and molecular catalysts. These catalysts, as well as others tested in previous studies, often come with crucial limitations that prevent their large-scale implementation. For instance, they can be very expensive, while also exhibiting low energy efficiencies and unsatisfactory electrochemical stabilities.

Researchers - Stanford - University - Design - Strategy

Researchers at Stanford University have recently devised a new design strategy that could help to overcome some of these limitations, enabling the fabrication of selective and yet robust catalytic interfaces for heterogeneous electrocatalysts that could reduce CO2 to C2 oxygenates. Their approach for designing these electrocatalysts was introduced and outlined in a paper published by Nature Energy.

"We report a design principle for the creation of a selective yet robust catalytic interface for heterogeneous electrocatalysts in the...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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