Cost competitive electroreduction of CO2 to CO requires electrochemical systems that exhibit partial current density (jCO) exceeding 150 mA cm-2 at cell overpotentials (|ηcell|) less than 1 V. However, achieving such benchmarks remains difficult. Here, we report the electroreduction of CO2 on a supported gold catalyst in an alkaline flow electrolyzer with performance levels close to the economic viability criteria. Onset of CO production occurred at cell and cathode overpotentials of just -0.25 and -0.02 V, respectively. High jCO (∼99, 158 mA cm-2) was obtained at low |ηcell| (∼0.70, 0.94 V) and high CO energetic efficiency (∼63.8, 49.4%). The performance was stable for at least 8 h. Additionally, the onset cathode potentials, kinetic isotope effect, and Tafel slopes indicate the low overpotential production of CO in alkaline media to be the result of a pH-independent rate-determining step (i.e., electron transfer) in contrast to a pH-dependent overall process.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemistry (miscellaneous)
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Fuel Technology
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Materials Chemistry