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Stable and Efficient Single-Atom Zn Catalyst for CO2 Reduction to CH4

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journal contribution
posted on 23.06.2020 by Lili Han, Shoujie Song, Mingjie Liu, Siyu Yao, Zhixiu Liang, Hao Cheng, Zhouhong Ren, Wei Liu, Ruoqian Lin, Gaocan Qi, Xijun Liu, Qin Wu, Jun Luo, Huolin L. Xin
The development of highly active and durable catalysts for electrochemical reduction of CO2 (ERC) to CH4 in aqueous media is an efficient and environmentally friendly solution to address global problems in energy and sustainability. In this work, an electrocatalyst consisting of single Zn atoms supported on microporous N-doped carbon was designed to enable multielectron transfer for catalyzing ERC to CH4 in 1 M KHCO3 solution. This catalyst exhibits a high Faradaic efficiency (FE) of 85%, a partial current density of −31.8 mA cm–2 at a potential of −1.8 V versus saturated calomel electrode, and remarkable stability, with neither an obvious current drop nor large FE fluctuation observed during 35 h of ERC, indicating a far superior performance than that of dominant Cu-based catalysts for ERC to CH4. Theoretical calculations reveal that single Zn atoms largely block CO generation and instead facilitate the production of CH4.