Continuous electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide into formate using a tin cathode: comparison with lead cathode
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Electrochemical reduction has been pointed out as a promising method for CO2valorisation into useful chemicals. This paper studies the influence of key variables on the performance of an experimental system for continuous electro-reduction of CO2 to formate, when a tin plate is used as working electrode. Particular emphasis is placed on comparing the performance of Sn and Pb as cathodes. As was previously found with Pb, the influence of current density (“j”) using Sn was particularly noteworthy, and when j was raised up to a limit value of 8.5 mA cm−2, important increases of the rate of formate production were observed at the expense of lowering the Faradaic efficiency. However, unlike what was found with Pb, the performance using Sn improved when the electrolyte flow rate/electrode area ratio was increased within the range studied (0.57–2.3 mL min−1 cm−2). In this way, the use of Sn as cathode allowed achieving rates of formate production that were 25% higher than the maximum rates obtained with Pb, together with Faradaic efficiencies close to 70%, which were 15 points higher than those with Pb. These results reinforce the interest in Sn as electrode material in the electro-reduction of CO2 to formate.