Research Article


2021, 14(4): 1053–1060


Multivalent Sn species synergistically favours the CO2-into-HCOOH conversion

Jun Wu1, Xue Bai2, Zhiyu Ren2 (✉), Shichao Du2, Zichen Song1, Lei Zhao2, Bowen Liu2, Guiling Wang1 (✉), and Honggang Fu2 (✉)

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1 Key Laboratory of Superlight Materials and Surface Technology of Ministry of Education, College of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering, Harbin Engineering University, Harbin 150001, China
2 Key Laboratory of Functional Inorganic Material Chemistry, Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China, Heilongjiang University, Harbin 150080, China

Keywords: CO2 reduction, electrocatalytic, formic acid, multivalent Sn, Density functional theory (DFT) calculation
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Although Sn-based catalysts have recently achieved considerable improvement in selective electro-catalyzing CO2 into HCOOH, the role of various valence Sn species is not fully understood due to the complexity and uncertainty of their evolution during the reaction process. Here, inspired by the theoretical simulations that the concomitant multivalent Sn (Sn0, SnII and SnIV) can significantly motivate the intrinsic activity of Sn-based catalyst, the Sn/SnO/SnO2 nanosheets were proposed to experimentally verify the synergistic effect of multivalent Sn species on the CO2-into-HCOOH conversion. During CO2 reduction reaction, the Sn/SnO/SnO2 nanosheets, which are prepared by the sequential hydrothermal reaction, calcined crystallization and low-temperature H2 treatment, exhibit a high FEHCOOH of 89.6% at –0.9 VRHE as well as a large cathodic current density. Systematic experimental and theoretical results corroborate that multivalent Sn species synergistically energize the CO2 activation, the HCOO* adsorption, and the electron transfer, which make Sn/SnO/SnO2 favour the conversion from CO2 into HCOOH in both thermodynamics and kinetics. This proof-of-concept study establishes a relationship between the enhanced performance and the multivalent Sn species, and also provides a practicable and scalable avenue for rational engineering high-powered electrocatalysts.
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Multivalent Sn species synergistically favours the CO2-into-HCOOH conversion. Nano Res. 2021, 14(4): 1053–1060

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