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Bowl-shaped electrode enhances CO2 reduction

By Paul Grad |

An international group of scientists has created a bowl-shaped electrode that can efficiently convert CO2 into carbon-based fuels and chemicals. The group includes scientists from the University of Bath (Bath, UK; www.bath.ac,uk), Fudan University (Shanghai, China; www.fudan.edu.cn), and the Shanghai Institute of Pollution Control and Ecological Security at Tongji University (Shanghai, China; www.tongji.edu.cn). Two main obstacles to reducing CO2 have been poor conversion efficiency and a lack of detailed knowledge about the reaction pathway. The new electrode — made of copper-indium alloy — addresses these challenges, due to its shape and construction. According to the scientists, the bowl-shaped electrode, known as an “inverse opal structure,” works six times faster than standard flat designs. The shape of the design concentrates electric fields on its hot edges — the rim of the bowl — which then concentrates positively charged potassium ions on the active sites of the reaction, reducing its energy requirements. The electrode can also be used to study the reaction by measuring the Raman signal, which is higher than that of a typical electrode. “To improve the efficiency of transforming CO2 into chemical fuels, it…
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