Towards a better Sn: Efficient electrocatalytic reduction of CO2 to formate by Sn/SnS2 derived from SnS2 nanosheets
Abstract Electrocatalytic reduction of CO 2 into liquid fuels using electricity from renewable sources has been attracting considerable interest because of the present energy and environmental crisis. However, current electrocatalysts for this reaction generally suffer from either high cost for noble metal based catalysts or low energetic efficiency and poor product selectivity for other transition metal or carbon based materials. In this paper, we report a catalyst based on two–dimensional SnS 2 nanosheets supported on reduced graphene oxide (SnS 2 /rGO) synthesized by a “one–pot” hydrothermal reaction for electrocatalytic reduction of CO 2 into formate with high activity, selectivity and durability. The catalyst is capable of producing formate at an overpotential as low as 0.23V and reaches a maximum faradaic efficiency of 84.5% and the current density of 13.9mAcm –2 at an overpotential of 0.68V in aqueous bicarbonate medium. Microscopic, spectroscopic and electrochemical characterizations reveal that the electrocatalytic activity towards CO 2 reduction arises from the presence of reduced metallic tin formed from SnS 2 under cathodic electrolysis conditions; the enhanced performance is attributed to the residual SnS 2 . This sulfide–derived metal catalyst with enhanced performance may open a perspective on a new promising class of materials for electrocatalytic reduction of CO 2 . Highlights A novel non–noble metal catalyst has been synthesized for electrochemical CO 2 reduction reaction. The active site of the catalyst is uncovered to be the metallic state of the precursor SnS 2 nanosheets. The residual SnS 2 is found to enhance the CO 2 reduction performance. This sulfide–derived metal catalyst could be a new promising class of materials for electrocatalytic reduction of CO 2 . Graphical abstract [DISPLAY OMISSION]
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