Conversion of CO2 to products via electrochemical systems
Renewably powered CO2 conversion presents an opportunity to de-carbonize the production of fuels and chemicals. Application of CO2 reduction will require electrocatalytic systems that provide reactants, electrons, and products at high rate and efficiency, and that are compatible with established upstream and downstream processes. In this talk I will outline our progress on membrane electrode assembly based cells to meet this challenge. To increase reaction rate and energy efficiency we develop a catalyst strategy that increases local CO2 availability and tunes intermediate adsorption for the production of multicarbon products. We adapt this strategy to achieve high single pass utilization of CO2, thereby achieving carbon- and energy-efficient production of multi-carbon products. For liquid product generation we focus on minimizing product cross-over to the anode, targeting ethanol production in excess of the 10wt% - comparable to bio-ethanol production and compatible with downstream processes. I’ll close with a discussion on the challenges ahead for the field to achieve commercial viability and scale.
David Sinton is a Professor and Canada Research Chair in the Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto. The Sinton group develops fluid systems for energy applications. The group is application-driven and is currently developing fluid systems to produce renewable fuels and feedstocks from CO2. The group previously developed industrial fluid testing systems to improve chemical performance in the energy industry, now commercialized through the startup Interface Fluidics Ltd. Dr. Sinton was selected to be an NSERC E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellow in 2016. He is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Canadian Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society of Canada.