Facile Synthesis of Iron- and Nitrogen-Doped Porous Carbon for Selective CO2 Electroreduction

Jun-Jie Shi, Xin-Ming Hu, Monica Rohde Madsen, Paolo Lamagni, Emil Tveden Bjerglund, Steen Uttrup Pedersen, Troels Skrydstrup, Kim Daasbjerg

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Abstract

A general and simple solvent-free procedure using direct heating of a ball-milled mixture of l-histidine-Fe 2O 3-FeCl 3 is developed for the synthesis of iron- and nitrogen-doped porous carbon electrocatalysts. Through adjustment of the reactant ratios and the pyrolysis temperature, a series of electrocatalysts are easily obtained with varying activities for electrochemical CO 2 reduction reaction (CO 2RR). The electrocatalyst synthesized from l-histidine-Fe 2O 3-FeCl 3 at a 4:1:0.25 component ratio at 1000 °C exhibits the highest Faradaic efficiency of 83% for CO 2-to-CO conversion at a small overpotential (360 mV) in aqueous media. The use of a number of characterization techniques, including X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, electron microscopy, and nitrogen sorption experiments, reveals that both Fe 2O 3 and FeCl 3 contribute to the iron doping and formation of porosity. As a result, they are both crucial to produce the optimal CO 2RR electrocatalyst. Correlation of the CO 2RR activity with the carbon structure suggests that the degree of graphitization of the carbon electrocatalysts plays an important role in their CO 2RR performance.

Original languageEnglish
JournalACS Applied Nano Materials
Volume1
Issue7
Pages (from-to)3608-3615
Number of pages8
ISSN2574-0970
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2018

Keywords

  • Co reduction
  • Electrocatalysis
  • Graphitization
  • Iron doping
  • Porous carbon

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