High-Efficiency Conversion of CO 2 to Oxalate in Water Is Possible Using a Cr-Ga Oxide Electrocatalyst

Aubrey R. Paris, Andrew Bruce Bocarsly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Electrochemical transformation of CO 2 into commodity chemicals such as oxalate is a strategy for profitably remediating high atmospheric CO 2 levels. Electrocatalysts for oxalate generation, however, have required prohibitively large applied potentials, forcing the use of nonaqueous electrolytes. Here, a thin film comprised of alloyed Cr and Ga oxides on glassy carbon is shown to electrocatalytically generate oxalate from aqueous CO 2 with high Faradaic efficiencies at 690 mV overpotential. Oxalate is produced at a surface anion site via a CO-dependent pathway; the process is highly sensitive to the hydrogen-bonding environment and avoids the commonly invoked CO 2 •- intermediate. Ultimately, this catalytic system accomplishes efficient CO 2 to oxalate conversion in protic electrolyte.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2324-2333
Number of pages10
JournalACS Catalysis
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry


  • CO reduction
  • aqueous
  • chromium
  • electrocatalyst
  • gallium
  • metal oxide
  • oxalate


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