Selectively converting CO2 to HCOOH on Cu-alloys integrated in hematite-driven artificial photosynthetic cells

Jiwu Zhao, Liang Huang, Lan Xue, Zhenjie Niu, Zizhong Zhang, Zhengxin Ding, Rusheng Yuan, Xu Lu, Jinlin Long

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The integration of electrochemical CO2 reduction (CO2RR) and photoelectrochemical water oxidation offers a sustainable access to valuable chemicals and fuels. Here, we develop a rapidly annealed hematite photoanode with a photocurrent density of 2.83 mA cm−2 at 1.7 VRHE to drive the full-reaction. We also present Cu-alloys electrocatalysis extended from CuInSnS4, which are superior in both activity and selectivity for CO2RR. Specifically, the screened CuInSn achieves a CO2 to HCOOH Faradaic efficiency of 93% at a cell voltage of −2.0 V by assembling into artificial photosynthesis cell. The stability test of IT exhibits less than 3% degradation over 24 h. Furthermore, in-situ Raman spectroscopy reveals that both CO32- and CO2 are involved in CO2RR as reactants. The preferential affinity of C for H in the *HCO2 intermediate enables an improved HCOOH-selectivity, highlighting the role of multifunctional Cu in reducing the cell voltage and enhancing the photocurrent density.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)601-610
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Energy Chemistry
StatePublished - Feb 16 2023

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-03-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): BAS/1/1413-01-01
Acknowledgements: This work was financially supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (2018YFE0208500) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grants No. 22072022). X. L. was funded by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) through the baseline funding (BAS/1/1413-01-01).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrochemistry
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Fuel Technology


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