High-Rate and Selective CO2 Electrolysis to Ethylene via Metal–Organic-Framework-Augmented CO2 Availability

Dae Hyun Nam, Osama Shekhah, Adnan Ozden, Christopher McCallum, Fengwang Li, Xue Wang, Yanwei Lum, Taemin Lee, Jun Li, Joshua Wicks, Andrew Johnston, David Sinton, Mohamed Eddaoudi, Edward H. Sargent*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


High-rate conversion of carbon dioxide (CO2) to ethylene (C2H4) in the CO2 reduction reaction (CO2RR) requires fine control over the phase boundary of the gas diffusion electrode (GDE) to overcome the limit of CO2 solubility in aqueous electrolytes. Here, a metal–organic framework (MOF)-functionalized GDE design is presented, based on a catalysts:MOFs:hydrophobic substrate materials layered architecture, that leads to high-rate and selective C2H4 production in flow cells and membrane electrode assembly (MEA) electrolyzers. It is found that using electroanalysis and operando X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS), MOF-induced organic layers in GDEs augment the local CO2 concentration near the active sites of the Cu catalysts. MOFs with different CO2 adsorption abilities are used, and the stacking ordering of MOFs in the GDE is varied. While sputtering Cu on poly(tetrafluoroethylene) (PTFE) (Cu/PTFE) exhibits 43% C2H4 Faradaic efficiency (FE) at a current density of 200 mA cm2 in a flow cell, 49% C2H4 FE at 1 A cm2 is achieved on MOF-augmented GDEs in CO2RR. MOF-augmented GDEs are further evaluated in an MEA electrolyzer, achieving a C2H4 partial current density of 220 mA cm−2 for CO2RR and 121 mA cm−2 for the carbon monoxide reduction reaction (CORR), representing 2.7-fold and 15-fold improvement in C2H4 production rate, compared to those obtained on bare Cu/PTFE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2207088
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number51
StatePublished - Dec 22 2022


  • electrochemical CO reduction
  • ethylene production
  • gas-diffusion electrodes
  • metal–organic frameworks
  • reticular chemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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