Nature Energy Research uses Sustainion® Membrane To Convert CO2 To Ethanol At High Efficiency

Sustanion® membrane ethanol efficiency

The work titled ‘Efficient electrically powered CO2-to-ethanol via suppression of deoxygenation’ was authored by a group authors largely from University of Toronto. Using Sustainion® membrane in conjunction with novel catalysts helped them record an ethanol Faradaic efficiency of ~52% (partialethanol current density ~156 mA cm−2) and an ethanol cathodic energy efficiency of 31%. The setup is shown below.


Schematic of the experimental setup with the AME being Sustainion Membrane at the heart of the cell.

The novel materials used in this study help suppression of the deoxygenation of the intermediate HOCCH* to ethylene which promotes ethanol production.  This work reports how the confinement effect, arising from an N-Clayer on Cu catalysts, taken together with the strong electron-donatingability of the N-C layer, enables advances in selectivity towards ethanolin CO2RR.


a: CO2RR performance comparisons in MEA system. a, FEs of C2+products on 34% N-C/Cu and Cu (the hatched bars). b: Comparison of the ratios of FEethanol to FEethylene on 34% N-C/Cu and Cu catalysts

This publication follows a previous one from researchers of the same institute who also utilized a Sustainion® Membrane in their MEA to record 50% Faradaic efficiency for ethylene and 80% Faradaic efficiency for C2+ products which lead to concentrated ethanol generation.

These findings provide a route towards improving selectivity towards high-energy-densityethanol in CO2RR through catalyst design using a high conducting anion exchange membrane such as Sustainion®.

Our Sustanion® membranes have outperformed other commercial membranes in numerous independent studies and aided in achieving record efficiencies.

You can purchase our state of the art Sustanion® membranes and products on out shop.