Elastic Ag-anchored N-doped graphene/carbon foam for the selective electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide to ethanol

Kuilin Lv, Yanchen Fan, Ying Zhu*, Yi Yuan, Jinrong Wang, Ying Zhu*, Qianfan Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


Electrochemical reduction of CO2 is considered to be an efficient strategy for converting CO2 emissions into valued-added carbon compounds. However, it often suffers from high overpotential, low product faradaic efficiency and poor selectivity for the desired products. Herein, a cost-effective method was designed to anchor Ag nanoparticles onto 3D graphene-wrapped nitrogen-doped carbon foam (Ag-G-NCF) by direct carbonization of melamine foam loaded with graphene oxide and silver salt. Directly acting as a high-efficiency electrode for CO2 electrochemical reduction, the Ag-G-NCF can efficiently and preferentially convert CO2 to ethanol with faradaic efficiencies (FEs) of 82.1-85.2% at -0.6 to -0.7 V (vs. RHE), overcoming the usual limitation of low FE and selectivity for C2 products. Density functional theory calculations confirmed that the pyridinic N species of the Ag-G-NCF catalyst exhibited a higher bonding ability toward CO∗ intermediates than other N species, and that then the Ag particles gradually converted the CO∗ to the OC-COH intermediate of ethanol. Its excellent performance in CO2 electroreduction can be attributed to a combination of the synergistic catalysis occurring between the pyridinic N present at high content and the Ag nanoparticles, the hierarchical macroporous structure, and the good conductivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5025-5031
Number of pages7
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51672019, 51473008), the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFA0206900), and the 111 Project (B14009).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Materials Science


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