Silver supported on titania as an active catalyst for electrochemical carbon dioxide reduction

Sichao Ma, Yangchun Lan, Gaby M.J. Perez, Saman Moniri, Paul J.A. Kenis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although significant research efforts have focused on the exploration of catalysts for the electrochemical reduction of CO2, considerably fewer reports have described how support materials for these catalysts affect their performance, which includes their ability to reduce the overpotential, and/or to increase the catalyst utilization and selectivity. Here Ag nanoparticles supported on carbon black (Ag/C) and on titanium dioxide (Ag/TiO2) were synthesized. In a flow reactor, 40wt % Ag/TiO 2 exhibited a twofold higher current density for CO production than 40wt % Ag/C. Faradaic efficiencies of the 40wt % Ag/TiO2 catalyst exceeded 90 % with a partial current density for CO of 101mA cm-2; similar to the performance of unsupported Ag nanoparticle catalysts (AgNP) but at a 2.5times lower Ag loading. A mass activity as high as 2700mA mg Ag-1 cm-2 was achieved. In cyclic voltammetry tests in a three-electrode cell, Ag/TiO2 exhibited a lower overpotential for CO2 reduction than AgNP, which, together with other data, suggests that TiO2 stabilizes the intermediate and serves as redox electron carrier to assist CO2 reduction while Ag assists in the formation of the final product, CO. TiO2 supports for CO 2 conversion: TiO2 has been used as a catalyst support in fuel cells and for photo-electroreduction. This study reveals that TiO 2 is a good support material for Ag nanoparticles used as catalyst (Ag/TiO2) for the reduction of CO2 to CO because of its unique role in the stabilization of the Ag particles as well as a key reaction intermediate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)866-874
Number of pages9
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • cyclic voltammetry
  • nanoparticles
  • silver
  • supported catalysts
  • titanium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Energy
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • General Chemical Engineering


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