Electrochemical reduction of CO2: Two- or three-electrode configuration

Abebe Reda Woldu, Aamir Hassan Shah, Haifeng Hu, David Cahen, Xuehua Zhang, Tao He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Electrocatalytical conversion of CO2 into various chemicals like hydrocarbons and CO is regarded as a promising approach to mitigate carbon emission and, meanwhile, to provide sustainable energy and value-added chemicals. Two different reactors are used in this work. One is based upon the two-electrode configuration powered by a DC power supply or Si solar cell, which is suitable for practical applications. Another is three-electrode one powered by a potentiostat, which is feasible to study the electrode performance. Polycrystalline Cu electrode is used as the cathode, and hematite is the anode. Performance of CO2 reduction using the two- and three-electrode configurations is studied by measuring electrode potential, cell voltage, current density, Faradaic efficiency, and reduction selectivity of CO2. Cu cathode used here exhibits a low overpotential for CO2 reduction, specifically for the cell with two-electrode configuration. No obvious difference can be observed between the two types of configurations at a low bias like −0.3 and −0.4 V; while the reactor with two-electrode configuration exhibits better performance at a high bias like −0.8 V than the one with three-electrode configuration. Thus, the reactors with two-electrode configuration are desirable for practical applications, specifically considering solar cells can be used as the power source to provide green and sustainable energy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)548-559
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Energy Research
Volume44
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Funding

This work was supported by the Belt and Road Initiative by Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (2015DFG62610), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21673052). At the Weizmann Institute of Science, this research was supported in part by the China-Israel program of the Israel Ministry of Science, Technology and Space. A.R.W. thanks The CAS-TWAS President's Fellowship for International PhD Students. This work was supported by the Belt and Road Initiative by Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (2015DFG62610), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21673052). At the Weizmann Institute of Science, this research was supported in part by the China‐Israel program of the Israel Ministry of Science, Technology and Space. A.R.W. thanks The CAS‐TWAS President's Fellowship for International PhD Students.

FundersFunder number
Ministry of Science and Technology of China
Weizmann Institute of Science
Ministry of Science, Technology and Space
National Natural Science Foundation of China21673052
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Ministry of Science and Technology of the People's Republic of China2015DFG62610

    Keywords

    • CO reduction
    • Cu cathode
    • electrocatalysis
    • electrode configuration
    • hematite anode
    • polarization

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