Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol.141, No.32, 12717-12723, 2019
Scalable Production of Efficient Single-Atom Copper Decorated Carbon Membranes for CO2 Electroreduction to Methanol
Electrocatalytic reduction reaction of CO2 (CO2RR) is an effective way to mitigate energy and environmental issues. However, very limited catalysts are capable of converting CO2 resources into high-value products such as hydrocarbons or alcohols. Herein, we first propose a facile strategy for the large-scale synthesis of isolated Cu decorated through-hole carbon nanofibers (CuSAs/TCNFs). This CuSAs/TCNFs membrane has excellent mechanical properties and can be directly used as cathode for CO2RR, which could generate nearly pure methanol with 44% Faradaic efficiency in liquid phase. The self-supporting and through-hole structure of CuSAs/TCNFs greatly reduces the embedded metal atoms and produces abundant efficient Cu single atoms, which could actually participate in CO2RR, eventually causing -93 mA cm (-2 )partial current density for C1 products and more than 50 h stability in aqueous solution. According to DFT calculations, Cu single atoms possess a relatively higher binding energy for *CO intermediate. Therefore, *CO could be further reduced to products like methanol, instead of being easily released from the catalyst surface as CO product. This report may benefit the design of efficient and high-yield single-atom catalysts for other electrocatalytic reactions.