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Electrochemical Study of Copper Ferrite as a Catalyst for CO2 Photoelectrochemical Reduction

1Faculty of Chemical and Natural Resources Engineering, Universiti Malaysia Pahang, Lebuhraya Tun Razak, 26300 Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia

2Faculty of Engineering and Technology, DRB-HICOM University of Automotive Malaysia, 26607 Pekan, Pahang, Malaysia

3Faculty of Engineering Technology, Universiti Malaysia Pahang, Lebuhraya Tun Razak, 26300 Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia

Received: 4 Jul 2017; Revised: 5 Nov 2017; Accepted: 15 Nov 2017; Available online: 11 Jun 2018; Published: 1 Aug 2018.
Editor(s): Istadi Istadi
Open Access Copyright (c) 2018 by Authors, Published by BCREC Group under

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In this work, p-type CuFe2O4 was synthesized by sol gel method. The prepared CuFe2O4 was used as photocathode catalyst for photoelectrochemical (PEC) CO2 reduction. The XRD, UV-Visible Spectroscopy (UV-Vis), and Mott-Schottky (MS) experiments were done to characterize the catalyst. Linear sweep voltammetry (LSV) was employed to evaluate the visible light (λ>400 nm) effect of this catalyst for CO2 reduction.  The band gap energy of the catalyst was calculated from the UV-Vis and was found 1.30 eV. Flat band potential of the prepared CuFe2O4 was also calculated and found 0.27 V versus Ag/AgCl. Under light irradiation in the CO2-saturated NaHCO3 solution, a remarkable current development associated with CO2 reduction was found during LSV for the prepared electrode from onset potential -0.89 V with a peak current emerged at -1.01 V (vs Ag/AgCl) representing the occurrence of CO2 reduction reaction. In addition, the mechanism of PEC was proposed for the photocathode where the necessity of a bias potential in the range of 0.27 to ~ -1.0 V vs Ag/AgCl was identified which could effectively inhibit the electron-hole (e-/h+) recombination process leading to an enhancement of CO2 reduction reactions. 

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Keywords: CuFe2O4; CO2 reduction; onset potential; photoelectrochemical reduction; linear sweep voltammetry
Funding: the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education for Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (RDU 150118) and Universiti Malaysia Pahang for Postgraduate Research Grants Scheme (PGRS 170353)

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