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Catalysts 2018, 8(8), 340; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal8080340

Low-Temperature Electrocatalytic Conversion of CO2 to Liquid Fuels: Effect of the Cu Particle Size

1
Department of Chemical Engineering, School of Chemical Sciences and Technologies, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Avda. Camilo José Cela 12, 13005 Ciudad Real, Spain
2
Department of Engineering, Universidad Loyola Andalucía, Energía Solar, 1. Edifs. E, F and G, 41014 Seville, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 July 2018 / Revised: 9 August 2018 / Accepted: 14 August 2018 / Published: 20 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emissions Control Catalysis)
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Abstract

A novel gas-phase electrocatalytic system based on a low-temperature proton exchange membrane (Sterion) was developed for the gas-phase electrocatalytic conversion of CO2 to liquid fuels. This system achieved gas-phase electrocatalytic reduction of CO2 at low temperatures (below 90 °C) over a Cu cathode by using water electrolysis-derived protons generated in-situ on an IrO2 anode. Three Cu-based cathodes with varying metal particle sizes were prepared by supporting this metal on an activated carbon at three loadings (50, 20, and 10 wt %; 50% Cu-AC, 20% Cu-AC, and 10% Cu-AC, respectively). The cathodes were characterized by N2 adsorption–desorption, temperature-programmed reduction (TPR), and X-ray diffraction (XRD) and their performance towards the electrocatalytic conversion of CO2 was subsequently studied. The membrane electrode assembly (MEA) containing the cathode with the largest Cu particle size (50% Cu-AC, 40 nm) showed the highest CO2 electrocatalytic activity per mole of Cu, with methyl formate being the main product. This higher electrocatalytic activity was attributed to the lower Cu–CO bonding strength over large Cu particles. Different product distributions were obtained over 20% Cu-AC and 10% Cu-AC, with acetaldehyde and methanol being the main reaction products, respectively. The CO2 consumption rate increased with the applied current and reaction temperature. View Full-Text
Keywords: CO2 electroreduction; CO2 valorization; Cu catalyst; particle size; PEM; acetaldehyde production; methanol production CO2 electroreduction; CO2 valorization; Cu catalyst; particle size; PEM; acetaldehyde production; methanol production
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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de Lucas-Consuegra, A.; Serrano-Ruiz, J.C.; Gutiérrez-Guerra, N.; Valverde, J.L. Low-Temperature Electrocatalytic Conversion of CO2 to Liquid Fuels: Effect of the Cu Particle Size. Catalysts 2018, 8, 340.

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