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Cascade CO2 electroreduction enables efficient carbonate-free production of ethylene

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  • Adnan Ozden, University of Toronto
  • ,
  • Yuhang Wang, University of Toronto
  • ,
  • Fengwang Li, University of Toronto
  • ,
  • Mingchuan Luo, University of Toronto
  • ,
  • Jared Sisler, University of Toronto
  • ,
  • Arnaud Thevenon, California Institute of Technology
  • ,
  • Alonso Rosas-Hernández
  • Thomas Burdyny, Delft University of Technology
  • ,
  • Yanwei Lum, University of Toronto
  • ,
  • Hossein Yadegari, University of Toronto
  • ,
  • Theodor Agapie, California Institute of Technology
  • ,
  • Jonas C. Peters, California Institute of Technology
  • ,
  • Edward H. Sargent, University of Toronto
  • ,
  • David Sinton, University of Toronto

CO2 electroreduction offers a route to net-zero-emission production of C2H4—the most-produced organic compound. However, the formation of carbonate in this process causes loss of CO2 and a severe energy consumption/production penalty. Dividing the CO2-to-C2H4 process into two cascading steps—CO2 reduction to CO in a solid-oxide electrolysis cell (SOEC) and CO reduction to C2H4 in a membrane electrode assembly (MEA) electrolyser—would enable carbonate-free C2H4 electroproduction. However, this cascade approach requires CO-to-C2H4 with energy efficiency well beyond demonstrations to date. Here, we present a layered catalyst structure composed of a metallic Cu, N-tolyl-tetrahydro-bipyridine, and SSC ionomer that enables efficient CO-to-C2H4 in a MEA electrolyser. In the full SOEC-MEA cascade approach, we achieve CO2-to-C2H4 with no loss of CO2 to carbonate and a total energy requirement of ~138 GJ (ton C2H4)−1, representing a ~48% reduction in energy intensity compared with the direct route.

Sider (fra-til)706-719
Antal sider14
StatusUdgivet - mar. 2021
Eksternt udgivetJa

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge Ontario Centre for the Characterization of Advanced Materials (OCCAM) for sample preparation and characterization facilities. Funding: this work received financial support from the Ontario Research Foundation : Research Excellence Program, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada, the CIFAR Bio-Inspired Solar Energy program and TOTAL S.E. and the Joint Centre of Artificial Synthesis, a DOE Energy Innovation Hub, supported through the Office of Science of the US Department of Energy under award no. DE-SC0004993. D.S. acknowledges the NSERC E.W.R Steacie Memorial Fellowship. A.T. acknowledges Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship H2020-MSCA-IF-2017 (793471). The authors thank Dr. Y.-F. Liao for the GIWAXS measurements at Spring-8 BL-12B2 beamline of NSRRC. The authors also thank Dr. T. Regier for their assistance at the SGM beamline of CLS.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Inc.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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