The Science Behind the Breakthrough
Building Energy Efficient Electrolyzers to Convert CO2 to Industrial Chemicals (“renewable hydrocarbons”)
Dioxide Materials‘ process uses an electrolyzer to convert CO2 into C1 building blocks. Subsequent chemical processes convert the C1 building blocks into high value fuels and chemicals. Dioxide Materials’ patented catalysts lower the cost of converting carbon dioxide into C1 building blocks by a factor of 3. Dioxide materials also has patent pending processes to convert the C1 building blocks into high value chemicals , creating the first cost-competitive route to large volume, renewable fuels and chemicals.
- How does it work? CO2 converted to CO + O2 in an electrolyzer.
- What is novel about it? Use combination of metallic and organic catalysts to lower the overpotential by 0.8 V.
How Does It Work?
HCOOH Formation On Tin
H2O → 2H+ + 2 e‾+ ½ O2
CO2 + 2H+ + 2 e‾ → HCOOH
Electrochemical CO2 Reduction
Co-catalyst Lowers the Overpotential
Challenge for electrochemical reduction of CO2
- High overpotential due to the formation of intermediate species
- Low selectivity due to the side reactions
- Combined ionic liquid with Ag metal
- Lowered the overpotential to 0.17V
- Suppressed side reactions
- Improved the selectivity to 98%
Rosen, et al., Science 334, 643 (2011)