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1.
J Am Chem Soc ; 2020 Dec 31.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33382947

RESUMO

The electrochemical CO2 reduction reaction (CO2RR) using Cu-based catalysts holds great potential for producing valuable multi-carbon products from renewable energy. However, the chemical and structural state of Cu catalyst surfaces during the CO2RR remains a matter of debate. Here, we show the structural evolution of the near-surface region of polycrystalline Cu electrodes under in situ conditions through a combination of grazing incidence X-ray absorption spectroscopy (GIXAS) and X-ray diffraction (GIXRD). The in situ GIXAS reveals that the surface oxide layer is fully reduced to metallic Cu before the onset potential for CO2RR, and the catalyst maintains the metallic state across the potentials relevant to the CO2RR. We also find a preferential surface reconstruction of the polycrystalline Cu surface toward (100) facets in the presence of CO2. Quantitative analysis of the reconstruction profiles reveals that the degree of reconstruction increases with increasingly negative applied potentials, and it persists when the applied potential returns to more positive values. These findings show that the surface of Cu electrocatalysts is dynamic during the CO2RR, and emphasize the importance of in situ characterization to understand the surface structure and its role in electrocatalysis.

2.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32805928

RESUMO

Catalytic systems whose properties can be systematically tuned via changes in synthesis conditions are highly desirable for the next-generation catalyst design and optimization. Herein, we present a two-dimensional (2D) conductive metal-organic framework consisting of M-N4 units (M = Ni, Cu) and a hexaaminobenzene (HAB) linker as a catalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction. By varying synthetic conditions, we prepared two Ni-HAB catalysts with different crystallinities, resulting in catalytic systems with different electric conductivities, electrochemical activity, and stability. We show that crystallinity has a positive impact on conductivity and demonstrate that this improved crystallinity/conductivity improves the catalytic performance of our model system. Additionally, density functional theory simulations were performed to probe the origin of M-HAB's catalytic activity, and they suggest that M-HAB's organic linker acts as the active site with the role of the metal being to modulate the linker sites' binding strength.

3.
ACS Omega ; 5(27): 16455-16459, 2020 Jul 14.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32685809

RESUMO

The recirculation of gases in a sealed reactor system is a broadly useful method in catalytic and electrocatalytic studies. It is especially relevant when a reactant gas reacts slowly with respect to residence time in a catalytic reaction zone and when mass transport control through the reaction zone is necessary. This need is well illustrated in the field of electrocatalytic N2 reduction, where the need for recirculation of 15N2 has recently become more apparent. Herein, we describe the design, fabrication, use, and specifications of a lubricant-free, readily constructed recirculating pump fabricated entirely from glass and inert polymer (poly(ether ether ketone) (PEEK), poly(tetrafluoroethylene) (PTFE)) components. Using these glass and polymer components ensures chemical compatibility between the piston pump and a wide range of chemical environments, including strongly acidic and organic electrolytes often employed in studies of electrocatalytic N2 reduction. The lubricant-free nature of the pump and the presence of components made exclusively of glass and PEEK/PTFE mitigate contamination concerns associated with recirculating gases saturated with corrosive or reactive vapors for extended periods. The gas recirculating glass pump achieved a flow rate of >500 mL min-1 N2 against atmospheric pressure at 15 W peak power input and >100 mL min-1 N2 against a differential pressure of +6 in. H2O (∼15 mbar) at 10 W peak power input.

4.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31919948

RESUMO

Ni,N-doped carbon catalysts have shown promising catalytic performance for CO2 electroreduction (CO2 R) to CO; this activity has often been attributed to the presence of nitrogen-coordinated, single Ni atom active sites. However, experimentally confirming Ni-N bonding and correlating CO2 reduction (CO2 R) activity to these species has remained a fundamental challenge. We synthesized polyacrylonitrile-derived Ni,N-doped carbon electrocatalysts (Ni-PACN) with a range of pyrolysis temperatures and Ni loadings and correlated their electrochemical activity with extensive physiochemical characterization to rigorously address the origin of activity in these materials. We found that the CO2 R to CO partial current density increased with increased Ni content before plateauing at 2 wt % which suggests a dispersed Ni active site. These dispersed active sites were investigated by hard and soft X-ray spectroscopy, which revealed that pyrrolic nitrogen ligands selectively bind Ni atoms in a distorted square-planar geometry that strongly resembles the active sites of molecular metal-porphyrin catalysts.

5.
Dalton Trans ; 2020 Jan 02.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31894216

RESUMO

The electrochemical oxygen evolution reaction (OER) is the half-cell reaction for many clean-energy production technologies, including water electrolyzers and metal-air batteries. However, its sluggish kinetics hinders the performance of those technologies, impeding them from broader implementation. Recently, we reported the use of zirconium phosphate (ZrP) as a support for transition metal catalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER). These catalysts achieve promising overpotentials with high mass activities. Herein, we synthesize ZrP structures with controlled morphology: hexagonal platelets, rods, cubes, and spheres, and subsequently modify them with Co(ii) and Ni(ii) cations to assess their electrochemcial OER behavior. Through inductively coupled plasma mass-spectrometry measurements, the maximum ion exchange capacity is found to vary based on the morphology of the ZrP structure and cation selection. Trends in geometric current density and mass activity as a function of cation selection are discussed. We find that the loading and coverage of cobalt and nickel species on the ZrP supports are key factors that control OER performance.

6.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 33, 2020 Jan 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31911585

RESUMO

Electrochemical CO[Formula: see text] reduction is a potential route to the sustainable production of valuable fuels and chemicals. Here, we perform CO[Formula: see text] reduction experiments on Gold at neutral to acidic pH values to elucidate the long-standing controversy surrounding the rate-limiting step. We find the CO production rate to be invariant with pH on a Standard Hydrogen Electrode scale and conclude that it is limited by the CO[Formula: see text] adsorption step. We present a new multi-scale modeling scheme that integrates ab initio reaction kinetics with mass transport simulations, explicitly considering the charged electric double layer. The model reproduces the experimental CO polarization curve and reveals the rate-limiting step to be *COOH to *CO at low overpotentials, CO[Formula: see text] adsorption at intermediate ones, and CO[Formula: see text] mass transport at high overpotentials. Finally, we show the Tafel slope to arise from the electrostatic interaction between the dipole of *CO[Formula: see text] and the interfacial field. This work highlights the importance of surface charging for electrochemical kinetics and mass transport.

7.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces ; 12(5): 5901-5908, 2020 Feb 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31971770

RESUMO

Silicon has shown promise for use as a small band gap (1.1 eV) absorber material in photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting. However, the limited stability of silicon in acidic electrolyte requires the use of protection strategies coupled with catalysts. Herein, spin coating is used as a versatile method to directly coat silicon photoanodes with an IrOx oxygen evolution reaction (OER) catalyst, reducing the processing complexity compared to conventional fabrication schemes. Biphasic strontium chloride/iridium oxide (SrCl2:IrOx) catalysts are also developed, and both catalysts form photoactive junctions with silicon and demonstrate high photoanode activity. The iridium oxide photoanode displays a photocurrent onset at 1.06 V vs reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE), while the SrCl2:IrOx photoanode onsets earlier at 0.96 V vs RHE. The differing potentials are consistent with the observed photovoltages of 0.43 and 0.53 V for the IrOx and SrCl2:IrOx, respectively. By measuring the oxidation of a reversible redox couple, Fe(CN)63-/4-, we compare the charge carrier extraction of the devices and show that the addition of SrCl2 to the IrOx catalyst improves the silicon-electrolyte interface compared to pure IrOx. However, the durability of the strontium-containing photoanode remains a challenge, with its photocurrent density decreasing by 90% over 4 h. The IrOx photoanode, on the other hand, maintained a stable photocurrent density over this timescale. Characterization of the as-prepared and post-tested material structure via Auger electron spectroscopy identifies catalyst film cracking and delamination as the primary failure modes. We propose that improvements to catalyst adhesion should further the viability of spin coating as a technique for photoanode preparation.

8.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 117(23): 12572-12575, 2020 06 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31980521

RESUMO

Electrochemical CO reduction can serve as a sequential step in the transformation of CO2 into multicarbon fuels and chemicals. In this study, we provide insights on how to steer selectivity for CO reduction almost exclusively toward a single multicarbon oxygenate by carefully controlling the catalyst composition and its surrounding reaction conditions. Under alkaline reaction conditions, we demonstrate that planar CuAg electrodes can reduce CO to acetaldehyde with over 50% Faradaic efficiency and over 90% selectivity on a carbon basis at a modest electrode potential of -0.536 V vs. the reversible hydrogen electrode. The Faradaic efficiency to acetaldehyde was further enhanced to 70% by increasing the roughness factor of the CuAg electrode. Density functional theory calculations indicate that Ag ad-atoms on Cu weaken the binding energy of the reduced acetaldehyde intermediate and inhibit its further reduction to ethanol, demonstrating that the improved selectivity to acetaldehyde is due to the electronic effect from Ag incorporation. These findings will aid in the design of catalysts that are able to guide complex reaction networks and achieve high selectivity for the desired product.

9.
Nat Nanotechnol ; 14(11): 1071-1074, 2019 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31611657

RESUMO

We demonstrate the translation of a low-cost, non-precious metal cobalt phosphide (CoP) catalyst from 1 cm2 lab-scale experiments to a commercial-scale 86 cm2 polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolyser. A two-step bulk synthesis was adopted to produce CoP on a high-surface-area carbon support that was readily integrated into an industrial PEM electrolyser fabrication process. The performance of the CoP was compared head to head with a platinum-based PEM under the same operating conditions (400 psi, 50 °C). CoP was found to be active and stable, operating at 1.86 A cm-2 for >1,700 h of continuous hydrogen production while providing substantial material cost savings relative to platinum. This work illustrates a potential pathway for non-precious hydrogen evolution catalysts developed in past decades to translate to commercial applications.

10.
Angew Chem Int Ed Engl ; 58(45): 16172-16176, 2019 Nov 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31496012

RESUMO

Conversion of CO2 into valuable molecules is a field of intensive investigation with the aim of developing scalable technologies for making fuels using renewable energy sources. While electrochemical reduction into CO and formate are approaching industrial maturity, a current challenge is obtaining more reduced products like methanol. However, literature on the matter is scarce, and even more for the use of molecular catalysts. Here, we demonstrate that cobalt phthalocyanine, a well-known catalyst for the electrochemical conversion of CO2 to CO, can also catalyze the reaction from CO2 or CO to methanol in aqueous electrolytes at ambient conditions of temperature and pressure. The studies identify formaldehyde as a key intermediate and an unexpected pH effect on selectivity. This paves the way for establishing a sequential process where CO2 is first converted to CO which is subsequently used as a reactant to produce methanol. Under ideal conditions, the reaction shows a global Faradaic efficiency of 19.5 % and chemical selectivity of 7.5 %.

12.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces ; 11(37): 34059-34066, 2019 Sep 18.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31442022

RESUMO

Multimetallic Ir-based systems offer significant opportunities for enhanced oxygen evolution electrocatalysis by modifying the electronic and geometric properties of the active catalyst. Herein, a systematic investigation of bimetallic Ir-based thin films was performed to identify activity and stability trends across material systems for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) in acidic media. Electron beam evaporation was used to co-deposit metallic films of Ir, IrSn2, IrCr, IrTi, and IrNi. The electrocatalytic activity of the electrochemically oxidized alloys was found to increase in the following order: IrTi < IrSn2 < Ir ∼ IrNi < IrCr. The IrCr system demonstrates two times the catalytic activity of Ir at 1.65 V versus RHE. Density functional theory calculations suggest that this enhancement is due to Cr active sites that have improved oxygen binding energetics compared to those of pure Ir oxide. This work identifies IrCr as a promising new catalyst system that facilitates reduced precious metal loadings for acid-based OER catalysis.

13.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces ; 11(30): 26863-26871, 2019 Jul 31.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31310093

RESUMO

With promising activity and stability for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), transition metal nitrides are an interesting class of non-platinum group catalysts for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. Here, we report an active thin-film nickel nitride catalyst synthesized through a reactive sputtering method. In rotating disk electrode testing in a 0.1 M HClO4 electrolyte, the crystalline nickel nitride film achieved high activity and selectivity to four-electron ORR. It also exhibited good stability during 10 and 40 h chronoamperometry measurements in acid and alkaline electrolyte, respectively. A combined experiment-theory approach, with detailed ex situ materials characterization and density functional theory calculations, provides insight into the structure of the catalyst and its surface during catalysis. Design strategies for activity and stability improvement through alloying and nanostructuring are discussed.

14.
Nature ; 570(7762): 504-508, 2019 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31117118

RESUMO

The electrochemical synthesis of ammonia from nitrogen under mild conditions using renewable electricity is an attractive alternative1-4 to the energy-intensive Haber-Bosch process, which dominates industrial ammonia production. However, there are considerable scientific and technical challenges5,6 facing the electrochemical alternative, and most experimental studies reported so far have achieved only low selectivities and conversions. The amount of ammonia produced is usually so small that it cannot be firmly attributed to electrochemical nitrogen fixation7-9 rather than contamination from ammonia that is either present in air, human breath or ion-conducting membranes9, or generated from labile nitrogen-containing compounds (for example, nitrates, amines, nitrites and nitrogen oxides) that are typically present in the nitrogen gas stream10, in the atmosphere or even in the catalyst itself. Although these sources of experimental artefacts are beginning to be recognized and managed11,12, concerted efforts to develop effective electrochemical nitrogen reduction processes would benefit from benchmarking protocols for the reaction and from a standardized set of control experiments designed to identify and then eliminate or quantify the sources of contamination. Here we propose a rigorous procedure using 15N2 that enables us to reliably detect and quantify the electrochemical reduction of nitrogen to ammonia. We demonstrate experimentally the importance of various sources of contamination, and show how to remove labile nitrogen-containing compounds from the nitrogen gas as well as how to perform quantitative isotope measurements with cycling of 15N2 gas to reduce both contamination and the cost of isotope measurements. Following this protocol, we find that no ammonia is produced when using the most promising pure-metal catalysts for this reaction in aqueous media, and we successfully confirm and quantify ammonia synthesis using lithium electrodeposition in tetrahydrofuran13. The use of this rigorous protocol should help to prevent false positives from appearing in the literature, thus enabling the field to focus on viable pathways towards the practical electrochemical reduction of nitrogen to ammonia.

15.
Chem Rev ; 119(12): 7610-7672, 2019 06 26.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31117420

RESUMO

To date, copper is the only heterogeneous catalyst that has shown a propensity to produce valuable hydrocarbons and alcohols, such as ethylene and ethanol, from electrochemical CO2 reduction (CO2R). There are variety of factors that impact CO2R activity and selectivity, including the catalyst surface structure, morphology, composition, the choice of electrolyte ions and pH, and the electrochemical cell design. Many of these factors are often intertwined, which can complicate catalyst discovery and design efforts. Here we take a broad and historical view of these different aspects and their complex interplay in CO2R catalysis on Cu, with the purpose of providing new insights, critical evaluations, and guidance to the field with regard to research directions and best practices. First, we describe the various experimental probes and complementary theoretical methods that have been used to discern the mechanisms by which products are formed, and next we present our current understanding of the complex reaction networks for CO2R on Cu. We then analyze two key methods that have been used in attempts to alter the activity and selectivity of Cu: nanostructuring and the formation of bimetallic electrodes. Finally, we offer some perspectives on the future outlook for electrochemical CO2R.

16.
Science ; 364(6438)2019 04 26.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31023896

RESUMO

Electrocatalytic transformation of carbon dioxide (CO2) and water into chemical feedstocks offers the potential to reduce carbon emissions by shifting the chemical industry away from fossil fuel dependence. We provide a technoeconomic and carbon emission analysis of possible products, offering targets that would need to be met for economically compelling industrial implementation to be achieved. We also provide a comparison of the projected costs and CO2 emissions across electrocatalytic, biocatalytic, and fossil fuel-derived production of chemical feedstocks. We find that for electrosynthesis to become competitive with fossil fuel-derived feedstocks, electrical-to-chemical conversion efficiencies need to reach at least 60%, and renewable electricity prices need to fall below 4 cents per kilowatt-hour. We discuss the possibility of combining electro- and biocatalytic processes, using sequential upgrading of CO2 as a representative case. We describe the technical challenges and economic barriers to marketable electrosynthesized chemicals.

17.
Phys Chem Chem Phys ; 21(10): 5402-5408, 2019 Mar 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30785434

RESUMO

The rational improvement of current and developing electrochemical technologies requires atomistic understanding of electrode-electrolyte interfaces. However, examining these interfaces under operando conditions, where performance is typically evaluated and benchmarked, remains challenging, as it necessitates incorporating an operando probe during full electrochemical operation. In this study, we describe a custom electrochemical flow cell that enables near-surface-sensitive operando investigation of planar thin-film catalysts at significant hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) rates (in excess of -100 mA cm-2) using grazing incidence X-ray methods. Grazing-incidence X-ray spectroscopy and diffraction were implemented on the same sample under identical HER conditions, demonstrating how the combined measurements track changing redox chemistry and structure of Cu thin-film catalyst surfaces as a function of electrochemical conditions. The coupling of these methods with improved mass transport and hydrodynamic control establishes a new paradigm for operando measurement design, enabling unique insights into the key fundamental processes occurring at the catalyst-electrolyte interface.

18.
Nat Commun ; 10(1): 32, 2019 01 03.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30604776

RESUMO

We present a microkinetic model for CO(2) reduction (CO(2)R) on Cu(211) towards C2 products, based on energetics estimated from an explicit solvent model. We show that the differences in both Tafel slopes and pH dependence for C1 vs C2 activity arise from differences in their multi-step mechanisms. We find the depletion in C2 products observed at high overpotential and high pH to arise from the 2nd order dependence of C-C coupling on CO coverage, which decreases due to competition from the C1 pathway. We further demonstrate that CO(2) reduction at a fixed pH yield similar activities, due to the facile kinetics for CO2 reduction to CO on Cu, which suggests C2 products to be favored for CO2R under alkaline conditions. The mechanistic insights of this work elucidate how reaction conditions can lead to significant enhancements in selectivity and activity towards higher value C2 products.

19.
Angew Chem Int Ed Engl ; 57(46): 15045-15050, 2018 Nov 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30134041

RESUMO

Methanol is a major fuel and chemical feedstock currently produced from syngas, a CO/CO2 /H2 mixture. Herein we identify formate binding strength as a key parameter limiting the activity and stability of known catalysts for methanol synthesis in the presence of CO2 . We present a molybdenum phosphide catalyst for CO and CO2 reduction to methanol, which through a weaker interaction with formate, can improve the activity and stability of methanol synthesis catalysts in a wide range of CO/CO2 /H2 feeds.

20.
J Am Chem Soc ; 140(25): 7851-7859, 2018 06 27.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29874062

RESUMO

Heteroatom-doped carbons have drawn increasing research interest as catalysts for various electrochemical reactions due to their unique electronic and surface structures. In particular, co-doping of carbon with boron and nitrogen has been shown to provide significant catalytic activity for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). However, limited experimental work has been done to systematically study these materials, and much remains to be understood about the nature of the active site(s), particularly with regards to the factors underlying the activity enhancements of these boron-carbon-nitrogen (BCN) materials. Herein, we prepare several BCN materials experimentally with a facile and controlled synthesis method, and systematically study their electrochemical performance. We demonstrate the existence of h-BN domains embedded in the graphitic structures of these materials using X-ray spectroscopy. These synthesized structures yield higher activity and selectivity toward the 2e- ORR to H2O2 than structures with individual B or N doping. We further employ density functional theory calculations to understand the role of a variety of h-BN domains within the carbon lattice for the ORR and find that the interface between h-BN domains and graphene exhibits unique catalytic behavior that can preferentially drive the production of H2O2. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first example of h-BN domains in carbon identified as a novel system for the electrochemical production of H2O2.

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