A team of researchers at the University of Delaware's Center for Catalytic Science and Technology (CCST) has discovered a novel two-step process to increase the efficiency of carbon dioxide (CO2) electrolysis, a chemical reaction driven by electrical currents that can aid in the production of valuable chemicals and fuels.
The results of the team's study were published Monday, Aug. 20 in Nature Catalysis.
The research team, consisting of Feng Jiao, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, and graduate students Matthew Jouny and Wesley Luc, obtained their results by constructing a specialized three-chambered device called an electrolyser, which uses electricity to reduce CO2 into smaller molecules.
Compared to fossil fuels, electricity is a much more affordable and environmentally-friendly method for driving chemical processes to produce commercial chemicals and fuels. These can include ethylene, which is used in the production of plastics, and ethanol, a valuable fuel additive.
"This novel electrolysis technology provides a new route to achieve higher selectivities at incredible reaction rates, which is a major step towards commercial applications," said Jiao, who also serves as associate director of CCST.To read more, click here.