Electrochemical reduction of CO2 into CO in N-methyl pyrrolidone/tetrabutylammonium perchlorate in two-compartment electrolysis cell
Abstract A two-compartment electrolysis cell has been designed for carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) electro-reduction into carbon monoxide (CO) in organic electrolyte. This electrolysis cell is separated into two compartments by an ion-exchange membrane (Nafion 117). CO 2 -saturated organic electrolyte has been used as the catholyte, and 0.1M H 2 SO 4 aqueous solution has been used as the anolyte. The proton and electron required for CO 2 reduction are provided by the electrochemical splitting of water at the anode. The commonly used organic solvents such as N -methyl pyrrolidone (NMP), acetonitrile (AN), propylene carbonate (PC), N , N -dimethylformamide (DMF) and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) have been used as the medium to prepare tetrabutylammonium perchlorate (TBAP)/organic solvent electrolyte. Among these solvents, NMP is deliberately investigated due to its particular properties such as high solubility of CO 2 , low toxicity, large negative electrochemical window and low volatility. Our experiment results show that CO 2 can be reduced into CO in NMP/TBAP solution. The cathodic current density reaches 6.6mA/cm 2 at −2.4V (vs ferrocene/ferrocenium). The highest current efficiency reaches 93%. During the long term electrolysis process, no deactivation has been found on the surface of Au electrode, indicating that the NMP/TBAP solution advantageously prevented poisoning of the cathode for CO 2 reduction.
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