Thursday, June 8, 2017

Solar conversion of CO2 by ALD modified CuO catalyst

Chemistry World reports that Earth abundant materials can be nano-engineered to make best use of increasingly abundant solar power. Now researchers in Switzerland have developed a catalyst, made entirely from earth abundant materials, that allows solar-generated electricity to reduce the environmental pollutant carbon dioxide to the valuable chemical feedstock carbon monoxide.

In the new research, Luo and colleagues used atomic layer deposition – a modified form of chemical vapour deposition allowing deposition of single, continuous atomic layers – to cover copper oxide nanowires with a very thin layer of tin oxide. Please find more detailed information and sources below

Full story:  LINK

M Schreier et al, Nat. Energy, 2017, 2, 17087 (DOI: 10.1038/nenergy.2017.87)

Abstract: The solar-driven electrochemical reduction of CO2 to fuels and chemicals provides a promising way for closing the anthropogenic carbon cycle. However, the lack of selective and Earth-abundant catalysts able to achieve the desired transformation reactions in an aqueous matrix presents a substantial impediment as of today. Here we introduce atomic layer deposition of SnO2 on CuO nanowires as a means for changing the wide product distribution of CuO-derived CO2 reduction electrocatalysts to yield predominantly CO. The activity of this catalyst towards oxygen evolution enables us to use it both as the cathode and anode for complete CO2 electrolysis. In the resulting device, the electrodes are separated by a bipolar membrane, allowing each half-reaction to run in its optimal electrolyte environment. Using a GaInP/GaInAs/Ge photovoltaic we achieve the solar-driven splitting of CO2 into CO and oxygen with a bifunctional, sustainable and all Earth-abundant system at an efficiency of 13.4%.