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NiS-Enabled Electrochemical Reduction of CO2 to CO
- Date : 22-09-23
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Due to unusual weather conditions caused by global warming, countries around the world have been suffering from disasters such as extreme heat waves, droughts, and floods in recent years, raising a sense of crisis. Meanwhile, Korean researchers have developed a new catalyst material to realize the resourceization of carbon dioxide, one of the causes of greenhouse gases that cause global warming.
Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST, President Yoon Seokjin) announced that the team of Dr. Hyung-Suk Oh and Dr. Woong Hee Lee at the Clean Energy Research Center developed a nickel sulfide catalyst used to convert carbon dioxide, the main culprit of greenhouse gases, into carbon monoxide, which is used as a raw material for industries. When the catalyst was applied to the actual conversion systerm, the carbon dioxide conversion performance was three times or more than that of the existing nickel single atom catalyst.
Carbon dioxide accounts for most of the substances that cause global warming and has the greatest impact on the greenhouse effect. Through an electrochemical reduction reaction, carbon dioxide can be converted into useful compounds such as carbon monoxide, ethylene, antacid, and methanol. Therefore, research to collect, utilize, and store carbon dioxide is being actively carried out. In particular, carbon monoxide (CO) is a very important basic raw material in the industry. Since carbon monoxide is very chemically unstable, it is mainly used as a reducing agent in the chemical, metal and electronic industries. It also has the highest economic value among chemical materials that can be made of carbon dioxide because of its high production compared to energy input.
Research on converting carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide has been based on presioud metal catalysts such as expensive silver and gold. For full-scale commercialization, the development of inexpensive catalyst materials is the key. A nickel(Ni)-based single atom catalyst has been developed as an alternative to a precious metal catalyst, but there is a limit to the conversion rate of carbon dioxide, that is, the maximum current amount, being low.
The KIST research team proposed a relatively inexpensive nickel sulfide catalyst and applied it to an actual system to confirm that its performance was high. It was known that only nickel in a single atomic state can be used for carbon dioxide conversion, and nickel catalysts in other metalic states are not possible.
However, the research team confirmed though operando analysis that the nickel sulfide catalyst exhibits high electrochemical carbon dioxide conversion activity by simulating the electroninc structure of the single atomic nickel catalyst during the reaction. In addition, it has been confirmed that power efficiency (Faradaic efficiency 3) is also improved by more than three times (70%) compared to the existing nickel monatomic catalyst (22%)
Dr. Oh of KIST said, "The nickel sulfide catalyst material, which was simulated by analyzing the reaction and behavior of the nickel single atom catalyst in real time, was born through an original catalyst research and development method called electronic structure imitation. The significance of the study is that it presented new possibilities for developing various low-cos catalysts." He also said, "We plan to make efforts to quickly commercialize nickel sulfide catalysts through follow-up studies such as long-term durability in the future."
With the support of the Ministry of Science and ICT (Minister Lee Jong-ho), this study was conducted as a KIST institutional program, 'Carbon to X Project', and a 'Creative Convergence Research Project' by the National Science and Technology Research Association (Chairman Kim Bok-cheol). It was also published in the latest issue of Advanced Energy Materials, an international journal in the field of energy and environment (IF: 29.698, the top 2.464% in the field of JCR).