Comparison of Electrochemically Deposited Bi and Sn Catalysts onto Gas Diffusion Electrodes for the Electrochemical CO₂ Reduction Reaction to Formate by Dr. Mila Manolova, Dr. Şeniz Sörgel, Dr. Joachim Hildebrand, Prof. Dr. Holger Kaßner, Prof. Elias Klemm and Sebastian Hertle
In this publication, we report about the selectivity and stability of bismuth (Bi)- and tin (Sn)-based electrocatalysts for the electrochemical CO₂ reduction reaction (eCO₂RR) for formate production. Bismuth and tin were successfully electrodeposited using the pulse plating technique on top of and inside of the gas diffusion layers (GDLs). The distribution of the catalyst throughout the thickness of the gas diffusion electrodes (GDEs) was investigated by using scanning electron microscopy and computer tomography; it was found that the catalyst morphology determines the performance of the electrode.
Inhomogeneous deposits, with their enlarged catalyst surface area, provide more active centres for the eCO₂RR, resulting in increased Faraday efficiency (FE) for formate. The initial electrochemical characterisation tests of the bismuth- and tin-loaded GDEs were carried out under laboratory operating conditions at an industrially relevant current density of 200 mA·cm⁻²; complete Sn dissolution with a subsequent deformation of the GDL was observed. In contrast to these results, no leaching of the electrodeposited Bi catalyst was observed. An FE of 94.2% towards formate was achieved on these electrodes. Electrodes based on an electrodeposited Bi catalyst on an in-house prepared GDL are stable after 23 h time-on-stream at 200 mA·cm⁻² and have very good selectivity for formate.
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