Pyridine Modified Gold Nanoparticles for Electrocatalytic Carbon Dioxide Reduction and Methanol Oxidation Reactions

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The global consumption of fossil fuels produces an enormous amount of carbon dioxide, causing a series of environmental problems such as glacial melting, food production reduction, and sea-level rise. Because it can potentially help address the global energy challenges and environmental issues from fossil fuels, CO2 harvesting, storage, and conversion to chemical fuels are of great research interest. CO2 can be transformed into chemical fuels (e.g., CO, CH4, and methanol) by electrochemical reduction reaction. Catalysts play critical roles in enhancing the selectivity and lowering the overpotential of the CO2 reduction reaction. For example, the main product of the carbon dioxide reduction reaction with the gold electrode is CO due to its low adsorption on the gold surface. Pyridine has been used to promote CO2 reduction by controlling the local pH of an electrode to enhance catalytic efficiency and selectivity. This research project primarily focuses on developing pyridine-modified Au nanoparticles for catalyzing electrochemical CO2 reduction and methanol Oxidation. The effects of the gold-pyridine conjugate formula, reduction potential with a rotating ring disc electrode (RRDE) and RRDE rotation speed on CO2 reduction current density and product collection efficiency, and electrode stability are investigated. Pyridine-modified nanoparticles improve the CO2 reduction catalytic reaction. Au/Cu nanoparticles are supposed to have better catalytic performance CO2 reduction than pure Pt nanoparticles due to the synergistic effect of Au and Cu promoting efficient reduction and desorption of CO from its surface. This study also investigated the MOR activities of pyridine-modified Au nanostructures. Au/Pt nanoparticles are supposed to have better catalytic performance for methanol oxidation than pure Au nanoparticles.

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