The electrocatalytic carbon dioxide reduction (ECO2R) to chemical fuels provides a promising pathway to a carbon-neutral energy cycle.
The electrocatalytic carbon dioxide reduction (ECO2R) to chemical fuels provides a promising pathway to a carbon-neutral energy cycle. The use of renewable energy to electrochemically convert carbon dioxide from the flue gas/exhaust of fossil-burning or biomass-fired power plants to value-added chemicals is an attractive, sustainable and economical solution towards this objective. Using water as a reductant, ECO2R could produce valuable carbonaceous species such as carbon monoxide, formic acid, methanol, and methane, most often accompanied with hydrogen gas as a byproduct. It has been a grand challenge in ECO2R to achieve ultrahigh (more than 95 percent) selectivity of any single product to minimize the separation cost for downstream applications. The goal of this project is to develop efficient, highly-selective, low over-potential, heteroatom-doped, carbon-based catalysts — important both from the scalability and potential application perspective. The coordination chemistry and mechanistic aspects of such catalytic transformations at the solid/liquid interface presents fundamental challenges that provide unique opportunities for the discovery of new electrochemical reaction pathways. In the proposed research, leaders of this program will:
The project’s principal investigator is Luis Velarde, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry. Co-principal investigators are Gang Wu, PhD, assistant professor in Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, and Michel Dupuis, PhD, research professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.