Certain alloys of nickel have recently been shown to reduce CO 2 to multi-carbon products electrochemically without the need for copper. Here we show that Ni 3 Ga thin film electrocatalysts on carbon electrodes discriminate between CO 2 reduction pathways and products based on their surface morphologies, which are controlled by catalyst-carbon support interactions. It is also observed that unsupported, bulk Ni 3 Ga reduces CO but not CO 2 . With this understanding, a tandem electrocatalyst utilizing two variants of the Ni 3 Ga material—one supported and one unsupported—was developed. In this two-electrode system, CO is generated from CO 2 on an electrode optimized for this process, and the CO is then further reduced to methanol in the same reactor. It appears that choice of carbon support impacts the morphology of Ni 3 Ga during the synthesis of the catalyst, thereby influencing the electrolysis product distribution.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry