Recently, a group led by Prof. XIAO Jianping from the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), in collaboration with Prof. HOU Yang from Zhejiang University and Prof. WU Gang from the State University of New York at Buffalo, investigated the mechanism of electrocatalytic reduction of carbon dioxide to formic acid.
The study was published in Advanced Materials on Nov. 30.
The scientists proved that the process of formic acid production in electrocatalytic reduction of carbon dioxide proceed via the formate (HCOO*) pathway, where carbon dioxide could be first protonated to formate (HCOO*), then the resulting formate was protonated to produce formic acid (HCOOH).
Previously, it was generally believed that CO was the only product via the path of carboxyl (COOH*). However, in this study, the scientists demonstrated that formic acid could also be produced through the carboxyl (COOH*) pathway on many metal surfaces at low potential by the theoretical results.
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Liaoning Revitalization Talents Program.
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