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This gold catalyst improves CO2 reduction

By Gerald Ondrey |

Researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST; Daejeon; www.kaist.ac.kr) have developed a three-dimensional (3D) hierarchically porous nanostructured catalyst that is said to have a CO2-to-CO conversion rate up to 3.96 times higher than that of conventional nanoporous gold catalysts. Described in the March 4 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, this new catalyst is expected to help overcome the existing mass-transport limitations that have hampered existing electrocatalysts. Gold is one of the most commonly used catalysts in CO2 reduction reactions, but the high cost and scarcity of Au pose obstacles for mass commercial applications. The development of nanostructures has been extensively studied as a potential approach to improving the selectivity for target products and maximizing the number of active stable sites, thus enhancing the energy efficiency. However, the nanopores of previously reported complex nanostructures were easily blocked by gaseous CO bubbles during aqueous reactions. The CO bubbles hindered mass transport of the reactants through the electrolyte, resulting in low CO2 conversion rates. The KAIST research group, led by professors Seokwoo Jeon and Jihun…
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