Recycling CO2 to Produce Renewable Fuels
Shahid Rasul a b, Eileen Yu b
a Northumbria University, 302 Whynne Jones Building, Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
b Newcastle University, Newcastle University, Bedson Building, Newcastle upon Tyne, 0, United Kingdom
nanoGe Fall Meeting
Proceedings of nanoGe Fall Meeting19 (NGFM19)
#SolCat19. (Photo)electrocatalysis for sustainable carbon utilization: mechanisms, methods, and reactor development
Berlin, Germany, 2019 November 3rd - 8th
Organizers: Matthew Mayer and Ludmilla Steier
Oral, Shahid Rasul, presentation 301
Publication date: 16th July 2019

Energy storage is one of the major challenges regarding renewable energy systems due to their intermittent nature. One of the practical solutions is to store renewable energy in chemical bonds (high energy density fuels) as nature does in photosynthesis process. Nature recycles CO2 in presence of sunlight and water to renewable fuels. Renewable fuels have two extraordinary advantages; 1) Renewable fuels provide efficient energy storage option for “surplus renewable energy” into chemical bonds of high energy density fuels and 2) Renewable fuels utilize existing energy supply infrastructure without any further requirements. However, electrochemical production of renewable fuels from waste CO2 and H2O to energy dense chemicals is one of the major challenges due to absence of suitable electrocatalysts.  A suitable electro-catalyst should exhibit high catalytic activity (i.e. high current density) at low overpotential (energy efficiency) towards a single energy rich product (selectivity), be inactive for competitor reactions such as hydrogen evolution (HER) and have good stability under reaction conditions. Herein we report, we report a novel strategy based on improved material design (Cu, Sn, In, Sb, Pb)[1-3] and enhanced mass transfer for eCO2R to affordable and scalable CO production. Our results suggest that our designed electrocatalysts suppress the reduction of H+ and simultaneously promote the conversion of CO2, which is highly desired in the electrochemical reduction of CO2 in aqueous medium.

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