Polyethylenimine-enhanced electrocatalytic reduction of CO₂ to formate at nitrogen-doped carbon nanomaterials

J Am Chem Soc. 2014 Jun 4;136(22):7845-8. doi: 10.1021/ja5031529. Epub 2014 May 20.


Nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes are selective and robust electrocatalysts for CO2 reduction to formate in aqueous media without the use of a metal catalyst. Polyethylenimine (PEI) functions as a co-catalyst by significantly reducing catalytic overpotential and increasing current density and efficiency. The co-catalysis appears to help in stabilizing the singly reduced intermediate CO2(•-) and concentrating CO2 in the PEI overlayer.