Synergy between β-Mo2C Nanorods and Non-thermal Plasma for Selective CO2 Reduction to CO

Xiao Zhang, Yang Liu, Mengtao Zhang, Tao Yu, Bingbing Chen, Yao Xu, Mark Crocker, Xiaobing Zhu, Yuchen Zhu, Rongming Wang, Dequan Xiao, Mingshu Bi, Ding Ma, Chuan Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Synergy between plasma and catalysis has long been recognized, but efforts to improve synergy and energy efficiency remain both highly desirable and challenging. Herein, β-Mo2C nanorods were coupled with non-thermal plasma (NTP) to catalyze selective CO2 reduction to CO by H2 or CH4. Unprecedented catalytic activity and selectivity were achieved without additional thermal input, and the turnover frequency (TOF) was an order of magnitude higher than that obtained during thermal catalysis. The porous-structured β-Mo2C nanorods not only possessed large accessible surfaces but also facilitated charge deposition to generate a strong local electric field when NTP was coupled. The interplay between β-Mo2C nanorods and NTP boosted the synergy and energy efficiency: the TOF and CO specific energy yield were 1.4–2 times and ∼10 times higher, respectively, than those of β-Mo2C nanoparticles. This strategy of coupling regularly shaped catalytic materials with NTP provides new opportunities to improve the efficiency of plasma-assisted catalytic processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3312-3328
Number of pages17
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 3 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The work was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (2017YFA0700103 and 2017YFB0602200), the Natural Science Foundation of China (21932002, 21872014, 21577013, 21707015, 21725301, 91645115, 21821004, and 21902018), the Postdoctoral Science Foundation of China (2019T120210 and 2018M641687), and the Natural Science Foundation of Liaoning Province (2019-MS-053). The XAS experiments were conducted at the Beijing Synchrotron Radiation Facility and Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility. D.M. acknowledges support from the Tencent Foundation through the XPLORER PRIZE. C.S. and D.M. designed the study. X.Z. performed most of the reactions. M.Z. Y.Z. and Y.W. performed the electron microscopy study. M.Z. did the in situ XPS experiments. X.Z. C.S. and D.M. wrote the paper. Other authors provided reagents, performed certain experiments, discussed, and revised the paper. The authors declare no competing interests.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Inc.


  • SDG13: Climate action

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering (all)
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Materials Chemistry


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