Hierarchically ordered nanochannel array membrane reactor with three-dimensional electrocatalytic interfaces for electrohydrogenation of co2 to alcohol

Xinyi Zhang, Bingmei Huang, Chenghua Sun, Wei Lu, Zhi Qun Tian, Pei Kang Shen, Huanting Wang, Dongyuan Zhao, Douglas R. Macfarlane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

7 Citations (Scopus)


The electrochemical conversion of CO2 into liquid fuels offers alternative ways to produce renewable fuels and store the surplus renewable energy. However, significant chemistry challenges still remain, particularly in relation to the kinetic inertness of CO2 and thermodynamic complexity of the multiple electron transfer processes involved. We describe a new type of flow-Through membrane reactor, based on a hierarchically ordered platinum nanochannel array with macropore channels in combination with mesoporous walls. The membrane reactor exhibits unique three-dimensional electrocatalytic interfaces with high activity and selectivity in CO2 conversion producing methanol and ethanol as the dominant liquid products. The Faradaic efficiency and yield for alcohol production are up to 23.9% and 2.1 × 10-8 mol s-1 cm-2 at 51 mA/cm-2, respectively. Experimental and density functional theory studies evidence that substantial (110) facets and a high density of atomic surface steps contribute significantly to the intrinsic activity and selectivity for conversion of CO2 to alcohol.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2649-2655
Number of pages7
JournalACS Energy Letters
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2018

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