Example of Copper Properties
“Copper has been studied for a long time as an electrocatalyst for CO2 reduction, and it’s the only metal shown to be able to reduce CO2 to useful hydrocarbons,” said Tayhas Palmore, professor of engineering and senior author of the new research. “There was some indication that if you roughen the surface of planar copper, it would create more active sites for reactions with CO2.”
'As levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere continue to rise, researchers are looking for ways to make use of it. One approach is to capture CO2 emitted from power plants and other facilities and use it as a carbon source to make industrial chemicals, most of which are currently made from fossil fuels. The problem is that CO2 is extremely stable, and reducing it to a reactive and useful form isn’t easy.
Now,copper foam, which has been developed only in the last few years, provided the surface roughness (and increased surface area?-reaction:chemical rate controlled or mass transfer controlled?) for which Palmore and her colleagues were looking. The foams are made by depositing copper on a surface in the presence of hydrogen and a strong electric current. Hydrogen bubbles cause the copper to be deposited in an arrangement of sponge-like pores and channels of varying sizes.'
'After depositing copper foams on an electrode, the researchers set up experiments to see what kinds of products would be produced in an electrochemical reaction with CO2 in water.'
Copper foam turns CO2 into useful chemicals - Materials Today