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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- CO reduction
- metal oxide