Achievements and challenges of copper-based single-atom catalysts for the reduction of carbon dioxide to C2+ products

The design strategies of single-atom copper catalysts are briefly summarized and the key factor for their application in industrially electrochemical conversion of CO2 into C2 and C2+ products are pointed out.


Copper is the only metal that can convert CO2 into C2 and C2+ in electrocatalytic carbon dioxide reduction (CO2RR). However, the Faraday efficiency of CO2 conversion to C2 and C2+ products at high current densities is still low, which cannot meet the actual industrial demand. Here, the design methods of single-atom copper catalysts (including regulating the coordination environment of single-atom copper, modifying the carbon base surface and constructing diatomic Cu catalysts) are reviewed, and the current limitations and future research directions of copper-based single-atom catalysts are proposed, providing directions for the industrial conversion of CO2 into C2 and C2+ products.

Author list:

Tianmi Tang, Zhenlu Wang, Jingqi Guan*

How to cite:

T. Tang, Z. Wang, J. Guan, Exploration 2023, 20230011.