Report Suggests Carbon Dioxide Efficiency Increased

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Researchers develops a novel two-step process to increase the efficiency of carbon dioxide (CO2) electrolysis.

Electricity is easily available, more affordable and environment-friendly compared to fossil fuels to produce commercial chemicals and fuels. A team of researchers at the University of Delaware’s Center for Catalytic Science and Technology (CCST) developed a method for driving chemical processes using electricity that can assist in the production of valuable chemicals and fuels.

The findings was published in the science journal, Nature Catalysis on August 20, 2018. The researchers concluded their results by constructing a specialized three-chambered device called an electrolyser, which reduces carbon dioxide into smaller molecules with the help of electricity.

Feng Jiao, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and lead researcher in the study, said: “By breaking the process into two steps, we have obtained a much higher selectivity towards multi-carbon products than in direct electrolysis. The sequential reaction strategy could open up new ways to design more efficient processes for carbon dioxide utilization.”

The innovative technology helps in selecting fuels through new route at a very fast reaction rates, which could boom productivity at commercial applications. The team bifurcated the electrolysis process, first reducing carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide followed by reducing the carbon monoxide further into multi-carbon products. This was advantageous over the conventional methods, providing much higher selectivity towards multi-carbon products.

Jiao’s team collaborated with researchers at Tianjin University in China, to design a system that could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by using carbon-neutral solar electricity. The researchers hopes that their findings would boost further research and development in the chemical domain of electrolysers.

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