The main product obtained by electrochemical reduction of CO2 depends on the electrode material, and in many cases the Faradaic efficiency for this is determined by the electrolyte. Only a few investigations in which attempts to produce different products from the same electrode material have been done so far. In this work, we focus on boron-doped diamond (BDD) electrodes with which plentiful amounts of formic acid and small amounts of carbon monoxide have been produced. By optimizing certain parameters and conditions used in the electrochemical process with BDD electrodes, such as the electrolyte, the boron concentration of the BDD electrode, and the applied potential, we were able to control the selectivity and efficiency with which carbon monoxide is produced. On one hand, with a BDD electrode with 1% boron used for the cathode and KClO4 for the catholyte, the selectivity for producing carbon monoxide was high. On the other hand, with a BDD electrode with 0.1% boron used for the cathode and KCl for the catholyte, the production of formic acid was the most evident. In situ attenuated total reflectance-infrared (ATR-IR) measurements during electrolysis showed that CO2·- intermediates were adsorbed on the BDD surface in the KClO4 aqueous solution. Here, switchable product selectivity was achieved when reducing CO2 using BDD electrodes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry