Electrochemical and Photo Electrochemical Studies for CO2 Reduction and Dye Removal using Co3O4 as Anode

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Global warming effect was caused by the combustion of fossil fuels which releases greenhouse gases during energy generation and causes great damage to the society. There is a need to reduce these CO2 before it cause damage to the environment. The studies discussed here were mainly focused on the electrocatalyst synthesis by electrodeposition method and their analysis using a 2-electrode glass reactor. The synthesized electrocatalysts Cobalt oxide (Co3O4) was used as the anode for water oxidation reaction in place of expensive platinum (Pt) electrocatalyst. The other synthesized electrocatalysts (Copper oxide (Cu2O), Lead oxide (Pb2O), Zinc (Zn) and Tin (Sn) were used a cathode for reduction of CO2 to products electrochemically (RCPE). The synthesized electrocatalyst were characterized using X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, Particle size analyzer (Delsa Nano). The performance of characterized electrocatalyst was studied using a reactor for liquid product formation in different electrolyte (KHCO3, NaHCO3, K2CO3 and Na2CO3) solutions. The electrodes for anode and cathodes were prepared by coating the electrocatalyst ink on the surface of graphite plate. From electrochemical studies, the ability of selected electrocatalyst towards RCPE was studied. However, electrical energy was used as a source for reaction. Use of solar energy might be a better alternative as this energy is available in free of cost. From the results of electrochemical studies, bicarbonate electrolyte solutions showed higher efficiencies than carbonated solutions. From both electrochemical and photo electrochemical studies, it was observed that Sn and Zn electrocatalysts showed better Faradaic efficiencies and selectivity towards HCOOH formation in bicarbonate based solutions. So, using these electrocatalysts, studies on the simultaneous CO2 reduction and dye removal was done electrochemically and photo electrochemically and found that in both cases the formation of HCOOH and dye removal was studied all applied conditions.
Supervisor: Mihir Kumar Purkait