The electrocatalytic CO2 reduction in aqueous solution mainly involves bond cleavage and formation between C, H and O, and it is highly desirable to expand the bond formation reaction of C with other atoms to obtain novel and valuable chemicals. The electrochemical synthesis of N-containing organic chemicals in electrocatalytic CO2 reduction via introducing N sources is an effective strategy to expand the product scope, since chemicals containing C–N bonds (e.g. amides and amines) are important reactants/products for medicine, agriculture and industry. This article focuses on the research progress of C–N coupling from CO2 and inorganic nitrogenous species in aqueous solution. Firstly, the reaction pathways related to the reaction intermediates for urea, formamide, acetamide, methylamine and ethylamine are highlighted. Then, the electrocatalytic performance of different catalysts for these several N-containing products are summarized and classified. Finally, the challenges and opportunities are analyzed, aiming to provide general insights into future research directions for electrocatalytic C–N coupling.
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- CO reduction
- C–N coupling
- Heterogeneous electrocatalysis