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Oxygen-tolerant electroproduction of C2 products from simulated flue gas

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Abstract

The electroreduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) to C2 products is a promising approach to divert and utilize CO2 emissions. However, the requirement of a purified CO2 feedstock decreases the economic feasibility of CO2 electrolysis. Direct utilization of industrial flue gas streams is encumbered by low CO2 concentrations and reactive oxygen (O2) impurities. We demonstrate that pressurization enables efficient CO2 electroreduction of dilute CO2 streams (15% v/v); however, with the inclusion of O2 (4% v/v), the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) displaces CO2 reduction and consumes up to 99% of the applied current in systems based on previously-reported catalysts. We develop a hydrated ionomer catalyst coating strategy that selectively slows O2 transport and stabilizes the copper catalyst. Applying this strategy, we convert an O2-containing flue gas to C2 products at a faradaic efficiency (FE) of 68% and a non-iR-corrected full cell energetic efficiency (EE) of 26%.

Graphical abstract: Oxygen-tolerant electroproduction of C2 products from simulated flue gas

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Article information


Submitted
23 Sep 2019
Accepted
23 Dec 2019
First published
23 Dec 2019

Energy Environ. Sci., 2020, Advance Article
Article type
Paper

Oxygen-tolerant electroproduction of C2 products from simulated flue gas

Y. Xu, J. P. Edwards, J. Zhong, C. P. O’Brien, C. M. Gabardo, C. McCallum, J. Li, C. Dinh, E. H. Sargent and D. Sinton, Energy Environ. Sci., 2020, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9EE03077H

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