The catalytic, electrocatalytic, or photocatalytic conversion of CO 2 into useful chemicals in high yield for industrial applications has so far proven difficult. Herein, we present our work on the electrochemical reduction of CO2 in seawater using a boron-doped diamond (BDD) electrode under ambient conditions to produce formaldehyde. This method overcomes the usual limitation of the low yield of higher-order products, and also reduces the generation of H2. In comparison with other electrode materials, BDD electrodes have a wide potential window and high electrochemical stability, and, moreover, exhibit very high Faradaic efficiency (74 %) for the production of formaldehyde, using either methanol, aqueous NaCl, or seawater as the electrolyte. The high Faradaic efficiency is attributed to the sp 3-bonded carbon of the BDD. Our results have wide ranging implications for the efficient and cost-effective conversion of CO2. Boron is a diamond's best friend: A boron-doped diamond (BDD) electrode exhibited very high Faradaic efficiency (74 %) for the production of formaldehyde using either methanol, aqueous NaCl, or seawater as the electrolyte at room temperature and ambient pressure.
- CO reduction
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