Professor Chen Wei of the University of Science and Technology of China’s latest review: How to design a copper-based catalyst for the electroreactive reduction of carbon dioxide to C2+ products?

On June 15, 2022, Professor Chen Wei of the University of Science and Technology of China, an editorial board member of Nano Research Energy, an academic journal founded by Tsinghua University, published a title at Nano Research Energy“Electrochemical CO2 reduction to C2+ products using Cu-based electrocatalysts: A review”A review.

Fig. 1 Schematic diagram of the strategy summary of copper-based catalyst electrorevitalizing carbon dioxide to C2+ products.

Since the industrial revolution in the nineteenth century, the rapid development of global industry, human beings use a large number of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas, so that the content of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere has risen sharply, causing global temperature rise, ocean acidification, sea level rise and other hazards, so that the earth’s ecological environment has been irreversible damage. In addition, as the Earth’s population continues to grow, the global energy shortage is becoming increasingly acute. Capturing carbon dioxide from the source point and using renewable energy sources to convert it into high value-added products is an effective solution to alleviate the earth’s ecological and environmental problems and energy crisis. Therefore, the production of multi-carbon (C2+) products and chemical raw materials by electrocatalytic carbon dioxide reduction reaction (CO2RR) has become a research hotspot. At present, the copper-based electrocatalyst has been shown to be the only catalyst that can effectively prepare C2+ products through CO2RR. However, the selectivity of CO2RR in the preparation of C2+ products by copper-based catalysts is still limited by their high overpotential, slow reaction kinetics, and low selectivity. In recent years, the design and preparation of a variety of new copper-based catalysts have developed rapidly. In order to promote the industrialization of CO2RR technology, it is necessary to summarize and prospect its research progress and design strategies.

In view of the above needs, Professor Chen Wei’s team of the University of Science and Technology of China systematically summarized the latest research progress of electroreverting carbon dioxide to C2+ products through copper-based catalysts and made forward-looking prospects for current challenges and future development directions. This article first discusses various cutting-edge strategies for copper-based catalyst design (Figure 1), including surface interface engineering, adjustment of copper band gap by alloying, and copper-based catalysts for polymer composites. The effects of electrolyte and pH on catalyst performance are then summarized to enhance the reader’s in-depth understanding of the inactivation/degradation mechanism of copper-based catalysts. In addition, this paper summarizes the research progress of in situ spectroscopy and theoretical calculation of copper-based catalysts in CO2RR reactions, so that readers can fully understand the reaction mechanism, structural transformation/degradation mechanism and crystal surface loss of copper-based catalysts on the effects of catalyst activity. Finally, the paper points out the direction of developing advanced Cu-based catalysts from four perspectives: including the development of single-atom catalysts, the use of surface interface engineering regulation, the development of copper-funded organic framework materials, and the preparation of copper-polymer composite catalysts, which provide a new perspective for solving the challenges of developing copper-based catalysts and the future development direction.

Related paper information:

Touqeer Ahmad, Shuang Liu, Muhammad Sajid, Ke Li, Mohsin Ali, Liang Liu, and Wei Chen. Electrochemical CO2 reduction to C2+ products using Cu-based electrocatalysts: A review. Nano Res. Energy 2022, DOI: 10.26599/NRE.2022.9120021.

As a sister issue of Nano Research, Nano Research Energy (ISSN: 2791-0091; e-ISSN: 2790-8119; Official website: was launched in March 2022 and is co-edited by Professor Qu Liangti of Tsinghua University and Professor Chunyi Zhi of the City University of Hong Kong. Nano Research Energy is an international multidisciplinary, all-English open access journal, focusing on the cutting-edge research and application of nanomaterials and nanoscience technology in new energy-related fields, benchmarking against the top international energy journals, and committed to publishing high-level original research and review papers. Before 2023No APC feesTeachers are welcome to submit articles. Please contact the editorial board:

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