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The "hot edges" of the electrodes convert CO2 gas into fuels and chemicals



A team of scientists has created a bowl-shaped electrode with "hot edges" that can efficiently convert CO2 from gas into fuels and carbon-based chemicals, helping to combat the threat of climate change posed by dioxide. atmospheric carbon.

The research team, from the University of Bath, the University of Fudan, Shanghai and the Institute of Control of Pollution and Ecological Security of Shanghai, hopes that the design of the catalyst will eventually allow the use of renewable electricity to convert CO2 into fuel without creating additional atmospheric carbon, essentially acting as a & # 39; blade & # 39; electrochemistry to convert carbon dioxide into sugars.

The use of this reaction, known as the reduction of carbon dioxide, has exciting potential, but two main obstacles are the poor conversion efficiency of the reaction and the lack of detailed knowledge about the exact route of the reaction.

This new electrode addresses these challenges with greater conversion efficiency and sensitive detection of molecules created throughout the progress of the reaction, thanks to its innovative shape and construction. The bowl-shaped electrode works six times faster than standard flat or flat designs.

The shape of the bowl design, technically known as the "reverse opal structure", concentrates the electric fields on its hot edges, the edge of the bowl, which in turn concentrates the positively charged potassium ions in the active sites of the reaction, which reduce your energy Requirements

The copper-indium alloy electrode can also be useful for sensitively studying the reaction process through the measurement of the Raman signal, which is higher compared to a typical electrode.

The study is published in the. Journal of Materials Chemistry A.

Professor Ventsislav Valev, from the Department of Physics at the University of Bath, said: "There is no human need more pressing than to breathe in. However, for hundreds of millions of people, this more basic activity is a source of anxiety for reduce life expectancy, increase infant mortality and "Climate change. There is evidence that CO2 increases the ozone of the surface, carcinogens and particles, which increases mortality, asthma, hospitalization and cancer rates. Therefore, it is crucial to continue researching new ways to reduce CO2 levels in the atmosphere. "

The team wants to continue the research to develop the most efficient catalyst for carbon reduction.

Professor Liwu Zhang, from Fudan University, said: "CO2 is causing climate change, making our planet warmer, and by using clean electricity, we can convert CO2 into chemical fuels, which can be used again. This creates a CO2 cycle, without increasing the CO2 concentration and will help save our world.

"However, to improve the efficiency of the transformation of CO2 into chemical fuels, it is extremely important to know the reaction route and find the most suitable catalyst.

"Just as plants transform CO2 into sugar, we find an appropriate electrochemical sheet for the conversion of CO2."

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The study: "The hot edges" in a reverse opal structure allow an efficient electrochemical reduction of CO2 and a sensitive characterization of Raman in situ "is published in Journal of Materials Chemistry A.

The study was funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People's Republic of China, and the National Foundation of Natural Sciences of China, the Research Council of Engineering and Physical Sciences (EPSRC) Center for Doctoral Training in Condensed Matter Physics (CDT-CMP), and the real society.

For more information, contact Chris Melvin at the University Press Office of Bath at +44 (0) 1225 383 941 or c.m.melvin@bath.ac.uk

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