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1.
J Am Chem Soc ; 142(12): 5702-5708, 2020 Mar 25.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32118414

RESUMO

Electrochemical conversion of nitrate (NO3-) into ammonia (NH3) recycles nitrogen and offers a route to the production of NH3, which is more valuable than dinitrogen gas. However, today's development of NO3- electroreduction remains hindered by the lack of a mechanistic picture of how catalyst structure may be tuned to enhance catalytic activity. Here we demonstrate enhanced NO3- reduction reaction (NO3-RR) performance on Cu50Ni50 alloy catalysts, including a 0.12 V upshift in the half-wave potential and a 6-fold increase in activity compared to those obtained with pure Cu at 0 V vs reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE). Ni alloying enables tuning of the Cu d-band center and modulates the adsorption energies of intermediates such as *NO3-, *NO2, and *NH2. Using density functional theory calculations, we identify a NO3-RR-to-NH3 pathway and offer an adsorption energy-activity relationship for the CuNi alloy system. This correlation between catalyst electronic structure and NO3-RR activity offers a design platform for further development of NO3-RR catalysts.

2.
Science ; 367(6478): 661-666, 2020 02 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32029623

RESUMO

Electrolysis offers an attractive route to upgrade greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) to valuable fuels and feedstocks; however, productivity is often limited by gas diffusion through a liquid electrolyte to the surface of the catalyst. Here, we present a catalyst:ionomer bulk heterojunction (CIBH) architecture that decouples gas, ion, and electron transport. The CIBH comprises a metal and a superfine ionomer layer with hydrophobic and hydrophilic functionalities that extend gas and ion transport from tens of nanometers to the micrometer scale. By applying this design strategy, we achieved CO2 electroreduction on copper in 7 M potassium hydroxide electrolyte (pH ≈ 15) with an ethylene partial current density of 1.3 amperes per square centimeter at 45% cathodic energy efficiency.

3.
Adv Mater ; 32(8): e1906806, 2020 Feb.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31950562

RESUMO

Oxygen evolution reaction (OER) catalysts that function efficiently in pH-neutral electrolyte are of interest for biohybrid fuel and chemical production. The low concentration of reactant in neutral electrolyte mandates that OER catalysts provide both the water adsorption and dissociation steps. Here it is shown, using density functional theory simulations, that the addition of hydrated metal cations into a Ni-Fe framework contributes water adsorption functionality proximate to the active sites. Hydration-effect-promoting (HEP) metal cations such as Mg2+ and hydration-effect-limiting Ba2+ into Ni-Fe frameworks using a room-temperature sol-gel process are incorporated. The Ni-Fe-Mg catalysts exhibit an overpotential of 310 mV at 10 mA cm-2 in pH-neutral electrolytes and thus outperform iridium oxide (IrO2 ) electrocatalyst by a margin of 40 mV. The catalysts are stable over 900 h of continuous operation. Experimental studies and computational simulations reveal that HEP catalysts favor the molecular adsorption of water and its dissociation in pH-neutral electrolyte, indicating a strategy to enhance OER catalytic activity.

4.
Nature ; 577(7791): 509-513, 2020 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31747679

RESUMO

The electrocatalytic reduction of carbon dioxide, powered by renewable electricity, to produce valuable fuels and feedstocks provides a sustainable and carbon-neutral approach to the storage of energy produced by intermittent renewable sources1. However, the highly selective generation of economically desirable products such as ethylene from the carbon dioxide reduction reaction (CO2RR) remains a challenge2. Tuning the stabilities of intermediates to favour a desired reaction pathway can improve selectivity3-5, and this has recently been explored for the reaction on copper by controlling morphology6, grain boundaries7, facets8, oxidation state9 and dopants10. Unfortunately, the Faradaic efficiency for ethylene is still low in neutral media (60 per cent at a partial current density of 7 milliamperes per square centimetre in the best catalyst reported so far9), resulting in a low energy efficiency. Here we present a molecular tuning strategy-the functionalization of the surface of electrocatalysts with organic molecules-that stabilizes intermediates for more selective CO2RR to ethylene. Using electrochemical, operando/in situ spectroscopic and computational studies, we investigate the influence of a library of molecules, derived by electro-dimerization of arylpyridiniums11, adsorbed on copper. We find that the adhered molecules improve the stabilization of an 'atop-bound' CO intermediate (that is, an intermediate bound to a single copper atom), thereby favouring further reduction to ethylene. As a result of this strategy, we report the CO2RR to ethylene with a Faradaic efficiency of 72 per cent at a partial current density of 230 milliamperes per square centimetre in a liquid-electrolyte flow cell in a neutral medium. We report stable ethylene electrosynthesis for 190 hours in a system based on a membrane-electrode assembly that provides a full-cell energy efficiency of 20 per cent. We anticipate that this may be generalized to enable molecular strategies to complement heterogeneous catalysts by stabilizing intermediates through local molecular tuning.

5.
Nat Commun ; 10(1): 5814, 2019 Dec 20.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31862886

RESUMO

Producing liquid fuels such as ethanol from CO2, H2O, and renewable electricity offers a route to store sustainable energy. The search for efficient electrocatalysts for the CO2 reduction reaction relies on tuning the adsorption strength of carbonaceous intermediates. Here, we report a complementary approach in which we utilize hydroxide and oxide doping of a catalyst surface to tune the adsorbed hydrogen on Cu. Density functional theory studies indicate that this doping accelerates water dissociation and changes the hydrogen adsorption energy on Cu. We synthesize and investigate a suite of metal-hydroxide-interface-doped-Cu catalysts, and find that the most efficient, Ce(OH)x-doped-Cu, exhibits an ethanol Faradaic efficiency of 43% and a partial current density of 128 mA cm-2. Mechanistic studies, wherein we combine investigation of hydrogen evolution performance with the results of operando Raman spectroscopy, show that adsorbed hydrogen hydrogenates surface *HCCOH, a key intermediate whose fate determines branching to ethanol versus ethylene.

6.
Nat Commun ; 10(1): 5186, 2019 11 29.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31780655

RESUMO

The electroreduction of C1 feedgas to high-energy-density fuels provides an attractive avenue to the storage of renewable electricity. Much progress has been made to improve selectivity to C1 and C2 products, however, the selectivity to desirable high-energy-density C3 products remains relatively low. We reason that C3 electrosynthesis relies on a higher-order reaction pathway that requires the formation of multiple carbon-carbon (C-C) bonds, and thus pursue a strategy explicitly designed to couple C2 with C1 intermediates. We develop an approach wherein neighboring copper atoms having distinct electronic structures interact with two adsorbates to catalyze an asymmetric reaction. We achieve a record n-propanol Faradaic efficiency (FE) of (33 ± 1)% with a conversion rate of (4.5 ± 0.1) mA cm-2, and a record n-propanol cathodic energy conversion efficiency (EEcathodic half-cell) of 21%. The FE and EEcathodic half-cell represent a 1.3× improvement relative to previously-published CO-to-n-propanol electroreduction reports.

7.
J Am Chem Soc ; 141(21): 8584-8591, 2019 May 29.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31067857

RESUMO

The electrochemical reduction of CO2 has seen many record-setting advances in C2 productivity in recent years. However, the selectivity for ethanol, a globally significant commodity chemical, is still low compared to the selectivity for products such as ethylene. Here we introduce diverse binding sites to a Cu catalyst, an approach that destabilizes the ethylene reaction intermediates and thereby promotes ethanol production. We develop a bimetallic Ag/Cu catalyst that implements the proposed design toward an improved ethanol catalyst. It achieves a record Faradaic efficiency of 41% toward ethanol at 250 mA/cm2 and -0.67 V vs RHE, leading to a cathodic-side (half-cell) energy efficiency of 24.7%. The new catalysts exhibit an in situ Raman spectrum, in the region associated with CO stretching, that is much broader than that of pure Cu controls, a finding we account for via the diversity of binding configurations. This physical picture, involving multisite binding, accounts for the enhanced ethanol production for bimetallic catalysts, and presents a framework to design multimetallic catalysts to control reaction paths in CO2 reductions toward desired products.

8.
Adv Mater ; 31(31): e1807166, 2019 Aug.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31095806

RESUMO

The electrochemical reduction of CO2 is a promising route to convert intermittent renewable energy to storable fuels and valuable chemical feedstocks. To scale this technology for industrial implementation, a deepened understanding of how the CO2 reduction reaction (CO2 RR) proceeds will help converge on optimal operating parameters. Here, a techno-economic analysis is presented with the goal of identifying maximally profitable products and the performance targets that must be met to ensure economic viability-metrics that include current density, Faradaic efficiency, energy efficiency, and stability. The latest computational understanding of the CO2 RR is discussed along with how this can contribute to the rational design of efficient, selective, and stable electrocatalysts. Catalyst materials are classified according to their selectivity for products of interest and their potential to achieve performance targets is assessed. The recent progress and opportunities in system design for CO2 electroreduction are described. To conclude, the remaining technological challenges are highlighted, suggesting full-cell energy efficiency as a guiding performance metric for industrial impact.

9.
Nat Chem ; 11(5): 419-425, 2019 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30988416

RESUMO

Magic-number gold nanoclusters are atomically precise nanomaterials that have enabled unprecedented insight into structure-property relationships in nanoscience. Thiolates are the most common ligand, binding to the cluster via a staple motif in which only central gold atoms are in the metallic state. The lack of other strongly bound ligands for nanoclusters with different bonding modes has been a significant limitation in the field. Here, we report a previously unknown ligand for gold(0) nanoclusters-N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs)-which feature a robust metal-carbon single bond and impart high stability to the corresponding gold cluster. The addition of a single NHC to gold nanoclusters results in significantly improved stability and catalytic properties in the electrocatalytic reduction of CO2. By varying the conditions, nature and number of equivalents of the NHC, predominantly or exclusively monosubstituted NHC-functionalized clusters result. Clusters can also be obtained with up to five NHCs, as a mixture of species.

10.
Nat Commun ; 9(1): 4614, 2018 11 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30397203

RESUMO

The electrochemical reduction of carbon monoxide is a promising approach for the renewable production of carbon-based fuels and chemicals. Copper shows activity toward multi-carbon products from CO reduction, with reaction selectivity favoring two-carbon products; however, efficient conversion of CO to higher carbon products such as n-propanol, a liquid fuel, has yet to be achieved. We hypothesize that copper adparticles, possessing a high density of under-coordinated atoms, could serve as preferential sites for n-propanol formation. Density functional theory calculations suggest that copper adparticles increase CO binding energy and stabilize two-carbon intermediates, facilitating coupling between adsorbed *CO and two-carbon intermediates to form three-carbon products. We form adparticle-covered catalysts in-situ by mediating catalyst growth with strong CO chemisorption. The new catalysts exhibit an n-propanol Faradaic efficiency of 23% from CO reduction at an n-propanol partial current density of 11 mA cm-2.

11.
Adv Mater ; 30(49): e1804867, 2018 Dec.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30302836

RESUMO

Electrochemical carbon dioxide reduction (CO2 ) is a promising technology to use renewable electricity to convert CO2 into valuable carbon-based products. For commercial-scale applications, however, the productivity and selectivity toward multi-carbon products must be enhanced. A facile surface reconstruction approach that enables tuning of CO2 -reduction selectivity toward C2+ products on a copper-chloride (CuCl)-derived catalyst is reported here. Using a novel wet-oxidation process, both the oxidation state and morphology of Cu surface are controlled, providing uniformity of the electrode morphology and abundant surface active sites. The Cu surface is partially oxidized to form an initial Cu (I) chloride layer which is subsequently converted to a Cu (I) oxide surface. High C2+ selectivity on these catalysts are demonstrated in an H-cell configuration, in which 73% Faradaic efficiency (FE) for C2+ products is reached with 56% FE for ethylene (C2 H4 ) and overall current density of 17 mA cm-2 . Thereafter, the method into a flow-cell configuration is translated, which allows operation in a highly alkaline medium for complete suppression of CH4 production. A record C2+ FE of ≈84% and a half-cell power conversion efficiency of 50% at a partial current density of 336 mA cm-2 using the reconstructed Cu catalyst are reported.

12.
Nat Commun ; 9(1): 3828, 2018 09 20.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30237471

RESUMO

Copper-based materials are promising electrocatalysts for CO2 reduction. Prior studies show that the mixture of copper (I) and copper (0) at the catalyst surface enhances multi-carbon products from CO2 reduction; however, the stable presence of copper (I) remains the subject of debate. Here we report a copper on copper (I) composite that stabilizes copper (I) during CO2 reduction through the use of copper nitride as an underlying copper (I) species. We synthesize a copper-on-nitride catalyst that exhibits a Faradaic efficiency of 64 ± 2% for C2+ products. We achieve a 40-fold enhancement in the ratio of C2+ to the competing CH4 compared to the case of pure copper. We further show that the copper-on-nitride catalyst performs stable CO2 reduction over 30 h. Mechanistic studies suggest that the use of copper nitride contributes to reducing the CO dimerization energy barrier-a rate-limiting step in CO2 reduction to multi-carbon products.

13.
J Am Chem Soc ; 140(36): 11378-11386, 2018 09 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30113834

RESUMO

The electrochemical carbon dioxide reduction reaction (CO2RR) produces diverse chemical species. Cu clusters with a judiciously controlled surface coordination number (CN) provide active sites that simultaneously optimize selectivity, activity, and efficiency for CO2RR. Here we report a strategy involving metal-organic framework (MOF)-regulated Cu cluster formation that shifts CO2 electroreduction toward multiple-carbon product generation. Specifically, we promoted undercoordinated sites during the formation of Cu clusters by controlling the structure of the Cu dimer, the precursor for Cu clusters. We distorted the symmetric paddle-wheel Cu dimer secondary building block of HKUST-1 to an asymmetric motif by separating adjacent benzene tricarboxylate moieties using thermal treatment. By varying materials processing conditions, we modulated the asymmetric local atomic structure, oxidation state and bonding strain of Cu dimers. Using electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) and in situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) experiments, we observed the formation of Cu clusters with low CN from distorted Cu dimers in HKUST-1 during CO2 electroreduction. These exhibited 45% C2H4 faradaic efficiency (FE), a record for MOF-derived Cu cluster catalysts. A structure-activity relationship was established wherein the tuning of the Cu-Cu CN in Cu clusters determines the CO2RR selectivity.

14.
Adv Mater ; 30(38): e1802858, 2018 Sep.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30091157

RESUMO

Electrochemical reduction of CO2 is a compelling route to store renewable electricity in the form of carbon-based fuels. Efficient electrochemical reduction of CO2 requires catalysts that combine high activity, high selectivity, and low overpotential. Extensive surface reconstruction of metal catalysts under high productivity operating conditions (high current densities, reducing potentials, and variable pH) renders the realization of tailored catalysts that maximize the exposure of the most favorable facets, the number of active sites, and the oxidation state all the more challenging. Earth-abundant transition metals such as tin, bismuth, and lead have been proven stable and product-specific, but exhibit limited partial current densities. Here, a strategy that employs bismuth oxyhalides as a template from which 2D bismuth-based catalysts are derived is reported. The BiOBr-templated catalyst exhibits a preferential exposure of highly active Bi ( 11¯0 ) facets. Thereby, the CO2 reduction reaction selectivity is increased to over 90% Faradaic efficiency and simultaneously stable current densities of up to 200 mA cm-2 are achieved-more than a twofold increase in the production of the energy-storage liquid formic acid compared to previous best Bi catalysts.

15.
Science ; 360(6390): 783-787, 2018 05 18.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29773749

RESUMO

Carbon dioxide (CO2) electroreduction could provide a useful source of ethylene, but low conversion efficiency, low production rates, and low catalyst stability limit current systems. Here we report that a copper electrocatalyst at an abrupt reaction interface in an alkaline electrolyte reduces CO2 to ethylene with 70% faradaic efficiency at a potential of -0.55 volts versus a reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE). Hydroxide ions on or near the copper surface lower the CO2 reduction and carbon monoxide (CO)-CO coupling activation energy barriers; as a result, onset of ethylene evolution at -0.165 volts versus an RHE in 10 molar potassium hydroxide occurs almost simultaneously with CO production. Operational stability was enhanced via the introduction of a polymer-based gas diffusion layer that sandwiches the reaction interface between separate hydrophobic and conductive supports, providing constant ethylene selectivity for an initial 150 operating hours.

16.
Adv Mater ; 30(18): e1707635, 2018 May.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29578268

RESUMO

The ability to release, as electrical energy, potential energy stored at the water:carbon interface is attractive, since water is abundant and available. However, many previous reports of such energy converters rely on either flowing water or specially designed ionic aqueous solutions. These requirements restrict practical application, particularly in environments with quiescent water. Here, a carbon-based chemical-to-electricity device that transfers the chemical energy to electrical form when coming into contact with quiescent deionized water is reported. The device is built using carbon nanotube yarns, oxygen content of which is modulated using oxygen plasma-treatment. When immersed in water, the device discharges electricity with a power density that exceeds 700 mW m-2 , one order of magnitude higher than the best previously published result. X-ray absorption and density functional theory studies support a mechanism of operation that relies on the polarization of sp2 hybridized carbon atoms. The devices are incorporated into a flexible fabric for powering personal electronic devices.

17.
J Am Chem Soc ; 140(11): 3833-3837, 2018 03 21.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29504748

RESUMO

Over a broad range of operating conditions, many CO2 electroreduction catalysts can maintain selectivity toward certain reduction products, leading to materials and surfaces being categorized according to their products; here we ask, is product selectivity truly a property of the catalyst? Silver is among the best electrocatalysts for CO in aqueous electrolytes, where it reaches near-unity selectivity. We consider the hydrogenations of the oxygen and carbon atoms via the two proton-coupled-electron-transfer processes as chief determinants of product selectivity; and find using density functional theory (DFT) that the hydronium (H3O+) intermediate plays a key role in the first oxygen hydrogenation step and lowers the activation energy barrier for CO formation. When this hydronium influence is removed, the activation energy barrier for oxygen hydrogenation increases significantly, and the barrier for carbon hydrogenation is reduced. These effects make the formate reaction pathway more favorable than CO. Experimentally, we then carry out CO2 reduction in highly concentrated potassium hydroxide (KOH), limiting the hydronium concentration in the aqueous electrolyte. The product selectivity of a silver catalyst switches from entirely CO under neutral conditions to over 50% formate in the alkaline environment. The simulated and experimentally observed selectivity shift provides new insights into the role of hydronium on CO2 electroreduction processes and the ability for electrolyte manipulation to directly influence transition state (TS) kinetics, altering favored CO2 reaction pathways. We argue that selectivity should be considered less of an intrinsic catalyst property, and rather a combined product of the catalyst and reaction environment.

18.
Nat Chem ; 10(2): 149-154, 2018 02.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29359759

RESUMO

The efficiency with which renewable fuels and feedstocks are synthesized from electrical sources is limited at present by the sluggish oxygen evolution reaction (OER) in pH-neutral media. We took the view that generating transition-metal sites with high valence at low applied bias should improve the activity of neutral OER catalysts. Here, using density functional theory, we find that the formation energy of desired Ni4+ sites is systematically modulated by incorporating judicious combinations of Co, Fe and non-metal P. We therefore synthesized NiCoFeP oxyhydroxides and probed their oxidation kinetics with in situ soft X-ray absorption spectroscopy (sXAS). In situ sXAS studies of neutral-pH OER catalysts indicate ready promotion of Ni4+ under low overpotential conditions. The NiCoFeP catalyst outperforms IrO2 and retains its performance following 100 h of operation. We showcase NiCoFeP in a membrane-free CO2 electroreduction system that achieves a 1.99 V cell voltage at 10 mA cm-2, reducing CO2 into CO and oxidizing H2O to O2 with a 64% electricity-to-chemical-fuel efficiency.

19.
J Am Chem Soc ; 139(27): 9359-9363, 2017 07 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28660764

RESUMO

Using renewable energy to recycle CO2 provides an opportunity to both reduce net CO2 emissions and synthesize fuels and chemical feedstocks. It is of central importance to design electrocatalysts that both are efficient and can access a tunable spectrum of products. Syngas, a mixture of carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen (H2), is an important chemical precursor that can be converted downstream into small molecules or larger hydrocarbons by fermentation or thermochemistry. Many processes that utilize syngas require different syngas compositions: we therefore pursued the rational design of a family of electrocatalysts that can be programmed to synthesize different designer syngas ratios. We utilize in situ surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy and first-principles density functional theory calculations to develop a systematic picture of CO* binding on Cu-enriched Au surface model systems. Insights from these model systems are then translated to nanostructured electrocatalysts, whereby controlled Cu enrichment enables tunable syngas production while maintaining current densities greater than 20 mA/cm2.

20.
Adv Mater ; 29(27)2017 Jul.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28481018

RESUMO

The direct conversion of solar energy into fuels or feedstock is an attractive approach to address increasing demand of renewable energy sources. Photocatalytic systems relying on the direct photoexcitation of metals have been explored to this end, a strategy that exploits the decay of plasmonic resonances into hot carriers. An efficient hot carrier generation and collection requires, ideally, their generation to be enclosed within few tens of nanometers at the metal interface, but it is challenging to achieve this across the broadband solar spectrum. Here the authors demonstrate a new photocatalyst for hydrogen evolution based on metal epsilon-near-zero metamaterials. The authors have designed these to achieve broadband strong light confinement at the metal interface across the entire solar spectrum. Using electron energy loss spectroscopy, the authors prove that hot carriers are generated in a broadband fashion within 10 nm in this system. The resulting photocatalyst achieves a hydrogen production rate of 9.5 µmol h-1 cm-2 that exceeds, by a factor of 3.2, that of the best previously reported plasmonic-based photocatalysts for the dissociation of H2 with 50 h stable operation.

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