CO2 electroreduction to formate powered by renewable energy is an attractive strategy to recycle air-based carbon. At the moment, the electrode materials showing high selectivity for formate at high current density are post transition metals such as In, Sn, Bi, and Pb. Scaling up the CO2 electroreduction technology to industrial size requires, among other things, cheap and clean methods to produce cathode materials in the form of particles to fabricate the square meters of the electrode surface area needed for the industrial electrolyzers. We show here that it is possible to easily produce catalytic powders based on Sn and Pb via a process known as cathodic disintegration, driving the reaction with electric power and avoiding the use of organic solvents, stabilizers, and reducing agents. The catalysts produced with this method are highly selective for the reduction of CO2 to formate and show promise for use in industrial electrolyzers. Moreover, the process of cathodic disintegration is quick and clean, it has a high atom efficiency, it uses dilute aqueous electrolytes as solvents, and it has the possibility to be driven by renewable energy.
- cathodic corrosion
- cathodic disintegration