Synthesis and catalytic activity of new cu-based catalytic systems for the enhanced electrochemical CO2 reduction

Serafini, Martina (2023) Synthesis and catalytic activity of new cu-based catalytic systems for the enhanced electrochemical CO2 reduction, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Chimica, 35 Ciclo.
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This Ph.D. thesis concerns the synthesis of nanostructured Cu-containing materials to be used as electrode modifiers for the CO2 electroreduction in aqueous phase and the evaluation of their catalytic performances. Inspired by the fascinating concept of the artificial photosynthesis-oriented systems, several catalytic layers were electrochemically loaded on carbonaceous gas diffusion membranes, i.e., 3D structures that allow the design of eco-friendly materials for applications in green carbon recycling processes. In particular, early studies on Cu(I-II)-Cu(0) nanostructured materials were carried out to produce films on 4 cm2 sized supports by means of a fast and low-cost electrochemical procedure. Besides, through a screening of potentials, it was possible to find out a selective value for the CH3COOH production at -0.4 V vs RHE with a maximum productivity (1h reaction), ensured by the presence of the Cu+/Cu0 active redox couple (0.31 mmol gcat-1 h-1). On the basis of these results, further optimisations of the electrocatalyst chemical composition were carried out with the aim of (i) facilitating the interaction with CO2, (ii) increasing the dispersion of the catalytic active phase, and (iii) enhancing the CH3COOH productivity. To this aim, novel electrocatalysts based on layered double hydroxides (LDHs) were optimised, having as a final goal the formation of a new Cu2O-Cu0 based electrocatalyst derived from electrochemically achieved CuMgAl LDHs, subjected to calcination and reduction processes. The as-obtained electrocatalysts were tested for the selective production of CH3COOH and unprecedented results were obtained with the pristine CuMgAl LDH (2.0 mmol gcat-1 h-1). Additional characterisations of such an electrocatalyst have highlighted the possibility to achieve a ternary LDH in intimate contact with Cu2O-Cu0 species starting from the electrochemical deposition. The presence of these species, along with an alkaline environment on the electrode surface, were essential to preserve the selectivity towards the desired product, as confirmed by further operando studies.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Serafini, Martina
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
CO2 electroreduction; Cu-based electrocatalysts; carbonaceous membrane; 3D membrane; layered double hydroxides; acetic acid
Data di discussione
6 Aprile 2023

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