High-Yield Electrochemical Production of Formaldehyde from CO2 and Seawater

Authors

  • Prof. Kazuya Nakata,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Applied Biological Science, Faculty of Science and Technology, Tokyo University of Science, 2641 Yamazaki, Noda, Chiba 278-8510 (Japan)
    2. Research Institute for Science and Technology, Photocatalysis International Research Center, Tokyo University of Science, 2641 Yamazaki, Noda, Chiba 278-8510 (Japan)
    • Kazuya Nakata, Department of Applied Biological Science, Faculty of Science and Technology, Tokyo University of Science, 2641 Yamazaki, Noda, Chiba 278-8510 (Japan)

      Yasuaki Einaga, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Technology, Keio University, 3-14-1 Hiyoshi, Yokohama 223-8522 (Japan)

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  • Takuya Ozaki,

    1. Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Technology, Keio University, 3-14-1 Hiyoshi, Yokohama 223-8522 (Japan)
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  • Prof. Chiaki Terashima,

    1. Research Institute for Science and Technology, Photocatalysis International Research Center, Tokyo University of Science, 2641 Yamazaki, Noda, Chiba 278-8510 (Japan)
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  • Prof. Akira Fujishima,

    1. Research Institute for Science and Technology, Photocatalysis International Research Center, Tokyo University of Science, 2641 Yamazaki, Noda, Chiba 278-8510 (Japan)
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  • Prof. Yasuaki Einaga

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Technology, Keio University, 3-14-1 Hiyoshi, Yokohama 223-8522 (Japan)
    2. JST, CREST, 3-14-1 Hiyoshi, Yokohama 223-8522 (Japan)
    • Kazuya Nakata, Department of Applied Biological Science, Faculty of Science and Technology, Tokyo University of Science, 2641 Yamazaki, Noda, Chiba 278-8510 (Japan)

      Yasuaki Einaga, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Technology, Keio University, 3-14-1 Hiyoshi, Yokohama 223-8522 (Japan)

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  • This work was supported by JST, CREST.

Abstract

The catalytic, electrocatalytic, or photocatalytic conversion of CO2 into useful chemicals in high yield for industrial applications has so far proven difficult. Herein, we present our work on the electrochemical reduction of CO2 in seawater using a boron-doped diamond (BDD) electrode under ambient conditions to produce formaldehyde. This method overcomes the usual limitation of the low yield of higher-order products, and also reduces the generation of H2. In comparison with other electrode materials, BDD electrodes have a wide potential window and high electrochemical stability, and, moreover, exhibit very high Faradaic efficiency (74 %) for the production of formaldehyde, using either methanol, aqueous NaCl, or seawater as the electrolyte. The high Faradaic efficiency is attributed to the sp3-bonded carbon of the BDD. Our results have wide ranging implications for the efficient and cost-effective conversion of CO2.

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