CO2 as feedstock for fuels and chemicals: bridging the gap between electrochemistry and chemocatalysis.

Summary

Using CO2 as a raw material for the production of fuels and chemicals is highly interesting for the storage of renewable energy in the form of chemical bonds. There are two distinct catalytic routes available for this reaction, the thermally driven CO2 hydrogenation and the electrochemical CO2 reduction. Although the catalyst materials that are used for both processes are based on the same metal - copper, the reactions result in a completely different product slate. Hydrogenation reactions produce methanol selectively, yet, in electrochemical reactions hydrocarbons are the main products. I aim to elucidate the difference in reactivity between the CO2 hydrogenation and electrochemical reduction reaction by synthesizing a Cu/C catalyst that can be used in both processes. The subsequent reactions will be performed in a packed bed reactor and an electrochemical cell whilst varying reaction parameters such as applied potential, temperature and pressure. By increasing the temperature and pressure of the electrochemical reduction reaction, the conditions of the hydrogenation reaction can be approached. Using this non-traditional approach, I will be able to observe parallels and differences between both routes, thereby increasing our fundamental knowledge on CO2 conversion and potentially leading to the development of more efficient and selective processes.

Details

Project number

680-50-1308

Main applicant

Dr. A.L. Jongerius

Affiliated with

Universiteit Utrecht, Faculteit B├Ętawetenschappen, Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science

Team members

Dr. A.L. Jongerius

Duration

01/07/2014 to 30/06/2016