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The optimization and scale-up of the electrochemical reduction of CO₂ to formate

Carbon dioxide capture and utilization technologies are necessary to create a truly circular economy. The electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide to formate is an appealing carbon utilization method as it can be performed at room temperature and pressure, it only requires two electrons, and it has a high atom efficiency.

M.F. Philips
08 November 2023
Thesis in Leiden Repository

This reaction has been known and studied for decades, but no commercial process is currently practiced.This thesis reviews work that has been performed in the field of electrocehmical reduction of CO2 toward formate and reviews how a gas diffusion electrode functions. A gas diffusion layer production method is explored for ways to tune the characteristics of the gas diffusion layer. A design of experiments is used to explore how the catalyst layer can interact with the gas diffusion layer. The best results (100% CE at 400mA/cm2) are scaled-up from 10 cm2 to 200 cm2. Contaminants in an industrial CO2 stream are studied using density funcitonal theory to determine their potential to poison electrocatalysts known to convert CO2 to formate.

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