Symposium EN06: Development in Catalytic Materials for Sustainable Energy – Bridging the Homogeneous/Heterogeneous Divide
Qi Dong, Boston College
Understanding the Role of Electrolyte in Electrochemical CO2 Reduction Reactions
Written by Tianyu Liu
Researchers have unveiled the role of water with different concentrations in electrochemical CO2 reduction reactions (CO2RR). Wait, did you ask what the water concentration mean? I had the same question when Qi Dong from Boston College began to present in the Thursday morning session of Symposium EN06. It turned out that Dong's work was associated with a unique solution system—water-in-salt.
Water-in-salt systems are solutions with highly concentrated salts. The salt concentration is so high that water molecules could be treated as solutes dispersed among salt ions. Utilizing Li-salt-based water-in-salt solutions, Dong and co-workers investigated the reaction kinetics of CO2RR over the Au surface and at different water concentrations. They revealed that the rate-determining step of CO2RR on Au should be the direct transfer of electrons to CO2, rather than proton-coupled electron transfer.