A Case Study of Scaling Up Electrochemical CO2 Reduction to Multicarbon Products
Christine Gabardo a
a CERT Systems Inc., 5 King's College Rd, Toronto, Canada
nanoGe Fall Meeting
Proceedings of Materials for Sustainable Development Conference (MAT-SUS) (NFM22)
#SolarFuels - Solar fuels through emerging system approaches
Barcelona, Spain, 2022 October 24th - 28th
Invited Speaker, Christine Gabardo, presentation 234
Publication date: 11th July 2022

Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels have motivated the development of alternative chemical production technologies to reduce emissions. The electrochemical CO2 reduction reaction (CO2RR) is one of several promising strategies that have been proposed for the utilization of CO2. Through CO2RR, CO2 can be converted into renewable fuels and valuable chemical feedstocks using clean electricity as an input. Of the possible CO2RR productions, multicarbon hydrocarbons and oxygenates, such as ethylene and ethanol, are promising commercial targets due to their large market sizes and high potential impact for emissions reduction.

CERT Systems Inc. is a carbontech start-up focused on the development of CO2RR to multicarbon product technology. Here we present an overview of CERT’s scale up journey through the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, a $20M global competition to develop and scale CO2 utilization technologies. We will summarize the scale up process from the laboratory to CERT’s pilot demonstration during the finals of the competition. The key learnings and challenges of scaling up CO2RR to multicarbon products will be discussed. Finally, we will identify next steps for the technology and outlook for electrochemical CO2 utilization.

We acknowledge the entire CERT pilot team including Dr. Alex Ip, Dr. Jonathan Edwards, Colin O'Brien, Joshua Wicks, Jehad Abed, Armin Sedighian Rasouli, Daniel Young, Luke Kershaw, Shijie Liu, and Celine Xiao for their hard work, commitment, and determination throughout the pilot demonstration, as well as many alumni of the CERT team throughout the competition. We thank our advisors Prof, Ted Sargent and Prof. Dave Sinton for their continued guidance and support. We acknowledge the University of Toronto, OCE, Mitacs, and XPRIZE for their tremendous support throughout the competition. 

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