Mechanistic insights towards the electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide to methanol facilitated by benzannulated pyridine and dihydropyridine additives

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Giesbrecht, Patrick
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American Chemical Society
The ability to recycle carbon dioxide (CO2) to liquid fuels such as methanol offers the potential for meeting global energy demands in a sustainable fashion. Coupling of this process to renewable energy sources electrochemically is one promising approach, where the interaction of the (photo)electrode and electrocatalyst is vital for ensuring high selectivity and efficiency for the reduction of CO2 to one product, with minimal external energy input. As such, this work investigates the ability of benzannulated pyridines (ANHs) and isolable dihydropyridines (DHPs) towards electrochemical reduction of CO2. The DHPs and ANHs investigated were found to reduce CO2 to methanol and formic acid at comparable efficiencies, providing the first experimental evidence for the participation of DHPs in electrochemical CO2 reduction. Electrochemical reduction of formic acid to methanol using ANHs and DHPs was also conducted, with simultaneous generation of a DHP from the ANH under CO2 reducing conditions.
Chemistry, Carbon dioxide reduction, Alternative energy
Giesbrecht, P. K.; Herbert, D. E., Electrochemical Reduction of Carbon Dioxide to Methanol in the Presence of Benzannulated Dihydropyridine Additives. ACS Energy Letters 2017, 2 (3), 549-555.