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Room temperature CO2 reduction to solid carbon species on liquid metals featuring atomically thin ceria interfaces

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Abstract

Negative carbon emission technologies are critical for ensuring a future stable climate. However, the gaseous state of CO2 does render the indefinite storage of this greenhouse gas challenging. Herein, we created a liquid metal electrocatalyst that contains metallic elemental cerium nanoparticles, which facilitates the electrochemical reduction of CO2 to layered solid carbonaceous species, at a low onset potential of −310 mV vs CO2/C. We exploited the formation of a cerium oxide catalyst at the liquid metal/electrolyte interface, which together with cerium nanoparticles, promoted the room temperature reduction of CO2. Due to the inhibition of van der Waals adhesion at the liquid interface, the electrode was remarkably resistant to deactivation via coking caused by solid carbonaceous species. The as-produced solid carbonaceous materials could be utilised for the fabrication of high-performance capacitor electrodes. Overall, this liquid metal enabled electrocatalytic process at room temperature may result in a viable negative emission technology.

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Esrafilzadeh, D., Zavabeti, A., Jalili, R., Atkin, P., Choi, J., Carey, B. J., … Kalantar-Zadeh, K. (2019). Room temperature CO2 reduction to solid carbon species on liquid metals featuring atomically thin ceria interfaces. Nature Communications, 10(1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-08824-8

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