Research by the University of Liverpool could help scientists unlock the full potential of new clean energy technologies، as the Technical times said.
Finding sustainable ways to replace fossil fuels is a key priority for researchers across the globe. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a hugely abundant waste product that can be converted into energy-rich by-products، such as carbon monoxide. However، this process needs to be made far more efficient for it to work on a global، industrial scale.
Electrocatalysts have shown promise as a potential way to achieve this required efficiency 'step-change' in CO2 reduction، but the mechanisms by which they operate are often unknown making it hard for researchers to design new ones in a rational manner.
New research published in Nature Catalysis by researchers at the University's Department of Chemistry، in collaboration with Beijing Computational Science Research Center and STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory، demonstrates a laser-based spectroscopy technique that can be used to study the electrochemical reduction of CO2 in-situ and provide much-needed insights into these complex chemical pathways.
The researchers used a technique called Vibrational Sum-Frequency Generation (VSFG) spectroscopy coupled with electrochemical experiments to explore the chemistry of a particular catalyst called Mn(bpy)(CO)3Br، which is one of the most promising and intensely studied CO2 reduction electrocatalysts.