Coordination Polymer Electrocatalysts Enable Efficient CO-to-Acetate Conversion

Mingchuan Luo, Adnan Ozden, Ziyun Wang, Fengwang Li, Jianan Erick Huang, Sung Fu Hung, Yuhang Wang, Jun Li, Dae Hyun Nam, Yuguang C. Li, Yi Xu, Ruihu Lu, Shuzhen Zhang, Yanwei Lum, Yang Ren, Longlong Fan, Fei Wang, Hui hui Li, Dominique Appadoo, Cao Thang DinhYuan Liu, Bin Chen, Joshua Wicks, Haijie Chen, David Sinton, Edward H. Sargent*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Upgrading carbon dioxide/monoxide to multi-carbon C2+ products using renewable electricity offers one route to more sustainable fuel and chemical production. One of the most appealing products is acetate, the profitable electrosynthesis of which demands a catalyst with higher efficiency. Here, a coordination polymer (CP) catalyst is reported that consists of Cu(I) and benzimidazole units linked via Cu(I)-imidazole coordination bonds, which enables selective reduction of CO to acetate with a 61% Faradaic efficiency at −0.59 volts versus the reversible hydrogen electrode at a current density of 400 mA cm−2 in flow cells. The catalyst is integrated in a cation exchange membrane-based membrane electrode assembly that enables stable acetate electrosynthesis for 190 h, while achieving direct collection of concentrated acetate (3.3 molar) from the cathodic liquid stream, an average single-pass utilization of 50% toward CO-to-acetate conversion, and an average acetate full-cell energy efficiency of 15% at a current density of 250 mA cm−2.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAdvanced Materials
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • acetate
  • CO/CO reduction
  • coordination polymers
  • electrosynthesis
  • MEA


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