Advertisement

Rendiconti Lincei. Scienze Fisiche e Naturali

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 497–513 | Cite as

Metal-free carbon-based materials for electrocatalytic and photo-electrocatalytic CO2 reduction

  • Nicola SangiorgiEmail author
  • Giulia TuciEmail author
  • Alessandra Sanson
  • Maurizio Peruzzini
  • Giuliano Giambastiani
Solar Driven Chemistry
  • 159 Downloads
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Solar Driven Chemistry

Abstract

Nowadays, reducing carbon dioxide emission in the atmosphere is one of the most important environmental issues that must be overcome. At the same time, low-cost and environmentally friendly technologies are necessary to produce renewable fuels able to replace the conventional fossil ones. Electrochemical cells (driven by solar energy) and photo-electrochemical cells (PECs) are among the main efficient technologies to get these challenging goals. Taking into account the PEC working mechanism, two different electrodes, based on photo-electrocatalytic and electrocatalytic materials able to drive reactions both under illumination or in dark conditions, are involved. In this review, recent results on carbon-based materials for electrocatalytic and photo-electrocatalytic carbon dioxide reduction are discussed. The properties and synthesis conditions applied to the preparation of conducting polymer and graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) are described and discussed for their application in the photoactive electrodes. As for the electrodes to be applied in the electrocatalytic CO2 activation and conversion, light heteroelement-doped carbon nanomaterials have been taken into account as highly valuable metal-free candidate to run the process efficiently and selectively. For the latter process, also the influence of the electrolyte and the selectivity towards different reaction products will be discussed. All these data taken together indicate that a lot of work still has to be done to achieve high efficiency with metal-free organic-based electro- and photo-electrocatalysts applied to the carbon dioxide conversion. Anyhow, many seminal outcomes collected in the literature up to now clearly indicate the real possibility to replace highly costly metal-based materials with simply organic ones.

Keywords

Metal-free electrodes Carbon-based materials Electrocatalysts and photoelectrocatalysts Carbon dioxide conversion Photoelectrochemical cell Products selectivity 

Notes

Acknowledgements

G.T and G.G. thank the TRAINER project (Catalysts for Transition to Renewable Energy Future) of the “Make our Planet Great Again” program, Agence Nationale de la Recherche (Ref. ANR-17-MPGA-0017) and the Italian MIUR (Ministero dell’Istruzione dell’Università e della Ricerca) through the PRIN 2015 Project SMARTNESS (2015K7FZLH) “Solar driven chemistry: new materials for photo- and electrocatalysis” for financial support. All authors also acknowledge DSCTM-CNR for support to the preparation of this contribution.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

References

  1. (2019) Carbon-based metal-free catalysts. Adv Mater 31:1970090.  https://doi.org/10.1002/adma.201970090
  2. Armaroli N, Balzani V (2016) Solar electricity and solar fuels: status and perspectives in the contest of the energy transition. Chem Eur J 22:32–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Azofora LM, McFarlane DR, Sun C (2016) A DFT study of planar vs. corrugated graphene-like carbon nitride (g-C3N4) and its role in the catalytic performance of CO2 conversion. Phys Chem Chem Phys 18:18507–18514CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Beladed C, Rekhila G, Doulache M, Zitouni B, Trari M (2013) Photo-electrochemical characterization of polypyrrole: application to visible light induced hydrogen production. Sol Energy Mater Sol Cells 114:199–204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cao S, Li Y, Zhu B, Jaroniec M, Yu J (2017) Facet effect of Pd cocatalyst on photo-catalytic CO2 reduction over g-C3N4. J Catal 349:208–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chai G-L, Guo Z-X (2016) Highly effective sites and selectivity of nitrogen-doped graphene/CNT catalysts for CO2 electrochemical reduction. Chem Sci 7:1268–1275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chang X, Wang T, Gong J (2016) CO2 photo-reduction: insights into CO2 activation and reaction on surface photocatalysis. Energy Environ Sci 9:2177–2196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cui H, Guo Y, Guo L, Wang L, Zhou Z, Peng Z (2018) Heteroatom-doped carbon materials and their composites as electrocatalysts for CO2 reduction. J Mater Chem A 6:18782–18793CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dai L (2004) Intelligent macromolecules for smart devices. Conducting polymers, 1st edn. Springer, London, pp 42–80Google Scholar
  10. Dong YM, Chen YM, Jiang PP, Wang GL, Wu XM, Wu RX (2016) A novel g-C3N4 based photocathode for photoelectrochemical hydrogen evolution. RCS Adv 6:7465–7473Google Scholar
  11. Duan X, Xu J, Wei Z, Ma J, Guo S, Wang S, Liu H, Dou S (2017) Metal-free carbon materials for CO2 electrochemical reduction. Adv Mater 29:1701784–1701804CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fan W, Chen C, Bai H, Luo B, Shen H, Shi W (2016) Photosensitive polymer and semiconductor bridged by Au plasmon for photoelectrochemical water splitting. Appl Catal B Environ 195:9–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fang Y, Wang X (2018) Photocatalytic CO2 conversion by polymeric carbon nitride. Chem Commun 54:5674–5687CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fang Y, Li X, Wang X (2018a) Synthesis of polymeric carbon nitride films with adhesive interfaces for solar water splitting devices. ACS Catal 8:8774–8780CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fang YF, Xu Y, Li X, Ma Y, Wang X (2018b) Coating polymeric carbon nitride photoanodes on conductive Y:ZnO nanorods arrays for overall water splitting. Angew Chem Int Ed 57:9749–9753CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Genovese C, Schuster ME, Gibson EK et al (2018) Operando spectroscopy study of the carbon dioxide electro-reduction by iron species on nitrogen-doped carbon. Nat Commun 9:935–947.  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-03138-7
  17. Ghosh S, Mallik AK, Basu RN (2018) Enhanced photocatalytic activity and photoresponse of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) nanofibers decorated with gold nanoparticle under visible light. Sol Energy 159:548–560CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Goettmann F, Thomas A, Antonietti M (2007) Metal-free activation of CO2 by mesoporous graphitic carbon nitride. Angew Chem Int Ed 46:2717–2720CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hursán D, Janáky C (2018) electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide on nitrogen-doped carbons: insights from isotopic labeling studies. ACS Energy Lett 3:722–723CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hursán D, Kormányos A, Rajeshwar K, Janáky C (2016) Polyaniline films photoelectrochemically reduce CO2 to alcohols. Chem Commun 52:8858–8861CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Jhong H-RM, Tornow CE, Smid B, Gewirth AA, Lyth SM, Kenis PJA (2017) A nitrogen-doped carbon catalyst for electrochemical CO2 conversion to CO with high selectivity and current density. Chemsuschem 10:1094–1099CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Joy J, Mathew J, George SC (2018) Nanomaterials for photoelectrochemical water splitting—review. Int J Hydrogen Energy 43:4804–4817CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kalamaras E, Maroto-Valer MM, Shao M, Xuan J, Wang H (2018) Solar carbon fuel via photoelectrochemistry. Catal Today 317:56–75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kao E, Liang Q, Bertholet GR-K, Zang X, Park HS, Bae J, Lu J, Lin L (2018) Electropolymerized polythiophene photoelectrodes for photocatalytic water splitting and hydrogen production. Sensors Actuators A Phys 277:18–25CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kormányos A, Ondok R, Janáky C (2017) Electrosynthesis and photoelectrochemical properties of polyaniline/SiC nanohybrid electrodes. Electrochim Acta 256:73–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kumar B, Asadi M, Pisasale D, Sinha-Ray S, Rosen BA, Haasch R, Abiade J, Yarin AL, Salehi-Khojin A (2013) Renewable and metal-free carbon nanofibre catalysts for carbon dioxide reduction. Nat Commun 4:2819–2827CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Li W, Bandosz TJ (2018) Role of heteroatoms in S–N-codoped nanoporous carbon materials in CO2 (photo)electrochemical reduction. Chemsuschem 11:2987–2999CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Li M, Zhang L, Wu M, Du Y, Fan X, Wang M, Zhang L, Kong Q, Shi J (2016a) Mesostructured CeO2/g-C3N4 nanocomposites: remarkably enhanced photocatalytic activity for CO2 reduction by mutual component activations. Nano Energy 19:145–155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Li W, Seredych M, Rodriguez-Castellun E, Bandosz TJ (2016b) Metal-free nanoporous carbon as a catalyst for electrochemical reduction of CO2 to CO and CH4. Chemsuschem 9:606–616CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Li W, Herkt B, Seredych M, Bandosz TJ (2017a) Pyridinic-N gropus and ultramicropore nanoreactors enhance CO2 electrochemical reduction on porous carbon catalysts. Appl Catal B Environ 207:195–206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Li F, Xue M, Knowles GP, Chen L, MacFarlane DR, Zhang J (2017b) Porous nitrogen-doped carbon derived from biomass for electrocatalytic reduction of CO2 to CO. Electrochim Acta 245:561–568CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Liu Y, Chen S, Quan X, Yu H (2015) Efficient electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide to acetate on nitrogen-doped nanodiamond. J Am Chem Soc 137:11631–11636CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Liu TF, Ali S, Lian Z, Li B, Su DS (2017a) CO2 electoreduction reaction on heteroatom doped carbon cathode materials. J Mater Chem A 5:21596–21603CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Liu Y, Zhang Y, Cheng K, Quan X, Fan X, Su Y, Chen S, Zhao H, Zhang Y, Yu H, Hoffmann MR (2017b) Selective electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide to ethanol on a boron- and nitrogen-Co-doped nanodiamond. Angew Chem Int Ed 56:15607–15611CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Liu B, Ye L, Wang R, Yang J, Zhang Y, Guan R, Tian L, Chen X (2018a) Phosphorus-doped graphitic carbon nitride nanotubes with amino-rich surface for efficient CO2 capture, enhanced photocatalytic activity, and product selectivity. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 10:4001–4009CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Liu TF, Ali S, Lian Z, Si CW, Su DS, Li B (2018b) Phosphorus-doped onion-like carbon for CO2 electrochemical reduction: the decisive role of the bonding configuration of phosphorus. J Mater Chem A 6:19998–20004CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Lu X, Tan TH, Ng YH, Amal R (2016) Highly selective and stable reduction of CO2 to CO by a graphitic carbon nitride/carbon nanotube composite electrocatalyst. Chem Eur J 2:11991–11996CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Lu L, Lv Z, Si Y, Liu M, Zhang S (2018) Recent progress on band and surface engineering of graphitic carbon nitride for artificial photosynthesis. Appl Surf Sci 462:693–712CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Ma XZ, Zhang JT, Wang B, Li QG, Chu S (2018) Hierarchical Cu2O foam/g-C3N4 photocathode for photoelectrochemical hydrogen production. Appl Surf Sci 427:907–916CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Nakata K, Ozaki T, Terashima C, Fujishima A, Einaga Y (2014) High-yield electrochemical production of formaldehyde from CO2 and seawater. Angew Chem Int Ed 53:871–874CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Ponnurangam S, Chernyshova IV, Somasundaran P (2017) Nitrogen-containing polymers as a platform for CO2 electroreduction. Adv Colloid Interface Sci 244:184–198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Remiro-Buenamañana S, García H (2019) Photoassisted CO2 conversion to fuels. ChemCatChem 11:342–356CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Sangiorgi N, Sanson A (2017) Influence of electropolymerized polypyrrole optical properties on bifacial dye-sensitized solar cells. Polymer 125:208–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Sangiorgi N, Sangiorgi A, Tarterini F, Sanson A (2019) Molecularly imprinted polypyrrole counter electrode for gel-state dye-sensitized solar cells. Electrochim Acta 305:322–328CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Saraga N, Kamimura S, Tsubota T, Ohno T (2016) Photoelectrochemical CO2 reduction by a p-type boron-doped g-C3N4 electrode under visible light. Appl Catal B Environ 192:193–198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Sharma PP, Wu J, Yadav RM, Liu M, Wright CJ, Tiwary CS, Yakobson BI, Lou J, Ajayan PM, Zhou X-D (2015) Nitrogen-doped carbon nanotube arrays for high-efficiency electrochemical reduction of CO2: on the understanding of defects, defect density, and selectivity. Angew Chem Int Ed 54:13701–13705CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Shen M, Zhang L, Shi J (2018) Converting CO2 into fuels by graphitic carbon nitride-based photocatalysts. Nanotechnology 29:412001–412013CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Smith RDL, Pickup PG (2010) Nitrogen-rich polymers for the electrocatalytic reduction of CO2. Electrochem Commun 12:1749–1751CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Song Y, Chen W, Zhao C, Li S, Wei W, Sun Y (2017) Metal-free nitrogen-doped mesoporous carbon for electroreduction of CO2 to ethanol. Angew Chem Int Ed 56:10840–10844CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Sreekanth N, Nazrulla MA, Vineesh TV, Sailaja K, Phani KL (2015) Metal-free boron-doped graphene for selective electroreduction of carbon dioxide to formic acid/formate. Chem Commun 51:16061–16064CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Sun X, Kang X, Zhu Q, Ma J, Yang G, Liu Z, Han B (2016) Very highly efficient reduction of CO2 to CH4 using metal-free N-doped carbon electrodes. Chem Sci 7:2883–2887CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Sun Z, Wang H, Wu Z, Wang L (2018) g-C3N4 based composite photocatalysts for photocatalytic CO2 reduction. Catal Today 300:160–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Tang J-y, Guo R-t, Pan W-g, Zhou W-g, Huang C-y (2019) Visible light activated photocatalytic behaviour of Eu(III) modified g-C3N4 for CO2 reduction and H2 evolution. Appl Surf Sci 467–468:206–212CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Tuci G, Filippi J, Ba H, Rossin A, Luconi L, Pham-Huu C, Vizza F, Giambastiani G (2018) How to teach an old dog new (electrochemical) tricks: aziridine-functionalized CNTs as efficient electrocatalysts for the selective CO2 reduction to CO. J Mater Chem A 6:16382–16389CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Volokh M, Peng G, Barrio J, Shalom M (2019) Carbon nitride materials for water splitting photoelectrochemical cells. Angew Chem Int Ed 58:6138–6151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Wang X, Maeda K, Thomas A, Takanabe K, Xin G, Carlsoon JM, Domen K, Antonietti M (2009) A metal-free polymeric photocatalyst for hydrogen production from water under visible light. Nat Mater 8:76–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Wang H, Chen Y, Hou X, Ma C, Tan T (2016) Nitrogen-doped graphenes as efficient electrocatalysts for the selective reduction of carbon dioxide to formate in aqueous solution. Green Chem 18:3250–3256CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Wang H, Jia J, Song P, Wang Q, Li D, Min S, Qian C, Wang L, Li YF, Ma C, Wu T, Yuan J, Antonietti M, Ozin GA (2017) Efficient electrocatalytic reduction of CO2 by nitrogen-doped nanoporous carbon/carbon nanotube membranes: a step towards the electrochemical CO2 refinery. Angew Chem Int Ed 56:7847–7852CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Wang P, Wang S, Wang H, Wu Z, Wang L (2018a) Recent progress on photo-electrocatalytic reduction of carbon dioxide. Part Part Syst Charact 35:1700371–1700396CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Wang L, Tong Y, Feng J, Hou J, Li J, Hou X, Liang J (2018b) g-C3N4-based films: a rising star for photoelectrochemical water splitting. Sustain Mater Technol 17:e00089–e00109Google Scholar
  61. Wen J, Xie J, Chen X, Li X (2017) A review of g-C3N4-based photocatalysts. Appl Surf Sci 391:72–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Won DH, Chung J, Park SH, Kim E-H, Woo SI (2015) Photoelectrochemical production of useful fuels from carbon dioxide on a polypyrrole-coated p-ZnTe photocathode under visible light irradiation. J Mater Chem A 3:1089–1095CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Wu J, Yadav RM, Liu M, Sharma PP, Tiwary CS, Ma L, Zou X, Zhou X-D, Yakobson BI, Lou J, Ajayan PM (2015) Achieving highly efficient, selective, and stable CO2 reduction on nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes. ACS Nano 9:5364–5371CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Wu J, Liu M, Sharma PP, Yadav RM, Ma L, Yang Y, Zou X, Zhou X-D, Vajtai R, Yakobson BI, Lou J, Ajayan PM (2016a) Incorporation of nitrogen defects for efficient reduction of CO2 via two-electron pathway on three-dimensional graphene foam. Nano Lett 16:466–470CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Wu J, Ma S, Sun J, Gold JI, Tiwary CS, Kim B, Zhu L, Chopra N, Odeh IN, Vajtai R, Yu AZ, Luo R, Lou J, Ding G, Kenis PJA, Ajayan PM (2016b) A metal-free electrocatalyst for carbon dioxide reduction to multi-carbon hydrocarbons and oxygenates. Nat Commun 7:13869–13875CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Xie S, Zhang Q, Liu G, Wang Y (2016) Photocatalytic and photoelectrocatalytic reduction of CO2 using heterogeneous catalysts with controlled nanostructrures. Chem Commun 52:35–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Xie J, Zhao X, Wu M, Li Q, Wang Y, Yao J (2018) Metal-free fluorine-doped carbon electrocatalyst for CO2 reduction outcompeting hydrogen evolution. Angew Chem Int Ed 57:9640–9644CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Xu J, Kan Y, Huang R, Zhang B, Wang B, Wu K-H, Lin Y, Sun X, Li Q, Centi G, Su D (2016) Revealing the origin of activity in nitrogen-doped nanocarbons towards electrocatalytic reduction of carbon dioxide. Chemsuschem 9:1085–1089CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Yang Y, Ajmal S, Zheng X, Zhang L (2018) Efficient nanomaterials for harvesting clean fuels from electrochemical and photoelectrochemical CO2 reduction. Sustain Energy Fuels 2:510–537CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Yao L, Rahmanudin A, Guijarro N, Sivula K (2018) Organic semiconductor based devices for solar water splitting. Adv Energy Mater 8:1802585–1802603CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Yongfang L (2015) Organic optoelectronic materials. Conducting polymers, 1st edn. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp 23–50Google Scholar
  72. Zhang S, Kang P, Ubnoske S, Brennaman MK, Song N, House RL, Glass JT, Meyer TJ (2014) Polyethylenimine-enhanced electrocatalytic reduction of CO2 to formate at nitrogen-doped carbon nanomaterials. J Am Chem Soc 136:7845–7848CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Zhang D, Shi J, Zi W, Wang P, Liu S (2018a) Recent advances in photoelectrochemical applications of silicon materials for solar-to-chemicals conversion. Chemsuschem 10:4324–4341CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Zhang B, Zhao T-J, Feng W-J, Liu Y-X, Wang H-H, Su H, Lv L-B, Li X-H, Chen J-S (2018b) Polarized few-layer g-C3N4 as metal-free electrocatalyst for highly efficient reduction of CO2. Nano Res 11:2450–2459CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Zheng Y, Zhang W, Li Y, Chen J, Yu B, Wang J, Zhang L, Zhang J (2017) Energy related CO2 conversion and utilization: advanced materials/nanomaterials, reaction mechanisms and technologies. Nano Energy 40:512–539CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Zhu B, Zhang L, Xu D, Cheng B, Yu J (2017) Adsorption investigation of CO2 on g-C3N4 surface by DTF calculation. J CO2 Util 21:327–335CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Science and Technology for Ceramics, ISTEC-CNRFaenzaItaly
  2. 2.Institute of Chemistry of OrganoMetallic Compounds, ICCOM-CNRSesto FiorentinoItaly
  3. 3.Institute of Chemistry and Processes for Energy, Environmental and Health (ICPEES), ECPMUMR 7515 of the CNRS-University of StrasbourgStrasbourg Cedex 02France

Personalised recommendations