High Performance Fe Porphyrin/Ionic Liquid Co-catalyst for Electrochemical CO2 Reduction

Chemistry. 2016 Sep 26;22(40):14158-61. doi: 10.1002/chem.201603359. Epub 2016 Aug 17.


The efficient and selective catalytic reduction of CO2 is a highly promising process for both of the storage of renewable energy as well as the production of valuable chemical feedstocks. In this work, we show that the addition of an ionic liquid, 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium tetrafluoroborate, in an aprotic electrolyte containing a proton source and FeTPP, promotes the in situ formation of the [Fe(0) TPP](2-) homogeneous catalyst at a less negative potential, resulting in lower overpotentials for the CO2 reduction (670 mV) and increased kinetics of electron transfer. This co-catalysis exhibits high Faradaic efficiency for CO production (93 %) and turnover number (2 740 000 after 4 hour electrolysis), with a four-fold increase in turnover frequency (TOF) when compared with the standard system without the ionic liquid.

Keywords: carbon dioxide reduction; electrocatalysis; electrochemistry; ionic liquids; iron tetraphenylporphyrin.