Decisive Intermediates Responsible for the Carbonaceous Products of CO2 Electro-reduction on Nitrogen-Doped sp2 Nanocarbon Catalysts in NaHCO3 Aqueous Electrolyte

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article – Annual report year: 2017Researchpeer-review



  • Author: Xu, Junyuan

    Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

  • Author: Zhang, Bingsen

    Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

  • Author: Wang, Bolun

    Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

  • Author: Wu, KuangHsu

    Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

  • Author: Peng, Zhangquan

    Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

  • Author: Li, Qingfeng

    Proton conductors, Department of Energy Conversion and Storage, Technical University of Denmark, Fysikvej, 2800, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark

  • Author: Centi, Gabriele

    University of Messina, Italy

  • Author: Su, Dang Sheng

    Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

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Nitrogen-doped sp2 nanocarbon materials have been considered promising catalysts for CO2 electro-reduction. However, a fundamental understanding about product selectivity and the reaction routes is still lacking. In this report, the reaction mechanism on nitrogen-doped sp2 nanocarbon materials is resolved by clarifying the authentic origin of the carbonaceous products: CO and HCO2. Two carbon-reduction pathways are identified based on a series of comparative studies by using differential electrochemical mass spectrometry and in situ CO adsorption experiments: a dominant pathway leading to CO from CO2 and a secondary pathway leading to HCO2 from HCO3. Neither hydrocarbon (CxHy) nor alcohol or aldehyde (CxHyOz) were detected in the reduction of CO2. However, CO, which is generally regarded as an intermediate to be transformed into these products on metal catalysts, can undoubtedly be produced and adsorbed on nitrogen-doped sp2 nanocarbon catalysts during the reaction.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1274-1278
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2017
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: No match on DOI
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ID: 131664211