The integration of bio-catalysis and electrocatalysis to produce fuels and chemicals from carbon dioxide
The dependence on fossil fuels has caused excessive emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), leading to climate changes and global warming. Even though the expansion of electricity generation will enable a wider use of electric vehicles, biotechnology represents an attractive route for producing high-density liquid transportation fuels that can reduce GHG emissions from jets, long-haul trucks and ships. Furthermore, to achieve immediate alleviation of the current environmental situation, besides reducing carbon footprint it is urgent to develop technologies that transform atmospheric CO2 into fossil fuel replacements. The integration of bio-catalysis and electrocatalysis (bio-electrocatalysis) provides such a promising avenue to convert CO2 into fuels and chemicals with high-chain lengths. Following an overview of different mechanisms that can be used for CO2 fixation, we will discuss crucial factors for electrocatalysis with a special highlight on the improvement of electron-transfer kinetics, multi-dimensional electrocatalysts and their hybrids, electrolyser configurations, and the integration of electrocatalysis and bio-catalysis. Finally, we prospect key advantages and challenges of bio-electrocatalysis, and end with a discussion of future research directions.