Promoting electrocatalytic CO2 reduction on nitrogen-doped carbon with sulfur addition Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2019 Elsevier B.V. Electrochemical reduction of CO2 on metal-free N-doped carbon (N-C) catalysts offers an emerging route to transform CO2 into value-added fuels. However, it suffers poor efficiency when operated at low overpotentials. Herein, we demonstrated that sulfur (S) addition could greatly enhance catalytic CO2 reduction activity and selectivity of N-C. The N,S-codoped carbon catalysts exhibited a high CO Faradaic efficiency of 92% and a CO current of 2.63 mA cm−2 at a low overpotential of 490 mV, much better than that of the S-free N-C counterpart. By correlating dopant configurations with catalytic performance of model catalysts and combining theoretical density functional theory (DFT) calculations, we revealed that incorporating S in N-C leads to the generation of a higher density of pyridinic N that serves as the determining active site for CO2 activation. In addition, S dopants significantly promote the catalytic reactivity and selectivity of pyridinic and graphitic N by decreasing the free energy barrier for key intermediate *COOH formation. The experimental findings and theoretical understanding of the dual-doping promotion effects reported in this work have provided insights on designing high-performance carbon catalysts for CO2 conversion.

published proceedings

  • Applied Catalysis B: Environmental

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Pan, F., Li, B., Deng, W., Du, Z., Gang, Y., Wang, G., & Li, Y

citation count

  • 74

complete list of authors

  • Pan, Fuping||Li, Boyang||Deng, Wei||Du, Zichen||Gang, Yang||Wang, Guofeng||Li, Ying

publication date

  • September 2019