Electrochemical nitrate reduction as affected by the crystal morphology and facet of copper nanoparticles supported on nickel foam electrodes (Cu/Ni)

Yu Jen Shih, Zhi Lun Wu, Yao Hui Huang, Chin Pao Huang

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1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Cu/Ni composite electrodes were prepared and studied for the electrochemical reduction of nitrate in aqueous solutions. Electrodeless plating technique, with tartrate as chelatant and formaldehyde as reducing agent, enabled the in-situ incorporation of Cu nanoparticles into the open-pore structured Ni foam to form Cu-Ni composite electrodes. X-ray diffractometer (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed that the crystal facet and grain morphology of Cu nanoparticles was closely controlled by the plating time and played a significant role in nitrate reduction and nitrogen selectivity. Cyclic voltammetry provided information on the electron transfer between surface nitrogen species and Cu/Ni electrodes. Electrochemical nitrate reduction was initiated at the onset potential of Cu(0)/Cu(I) redox reaction over a potential window of −0.6 V to −1.2 V. The preferential Cu{1 1 1} facet orientation improved the electron transfer process. Batch kinetics studies at constant current and potential showed that specific adsorption of nitrate and nitrite on the Cu{1 1 1} facet was critical to efficient electrochemical nitrate reduction. Moreover, the conversion of nitrogenous byproduct was potential-dependent. Results showed that N2 selectivity was high (55.6%) at low overpotential (i.e., ⩾−0.6 V vs. Hg/HgO. At high overpotential (i.e, <−0.6 V) there was complete of NO3 reduction with NH4 + as major byproduct.

Original languageEnglish
Article number123157
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Volume383
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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