Electrochemical CO2 Utilisation
The increasing amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is a great concern for living beings in the earth because of global warming and health related issues. To decrease the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere by substantial amount it is important to trap and convert it to useful product. To convert CO2 to other chemicals we have to activate the strong C=O bond. To activate this bond, we need large amount of energy. So, we need a catalyst that can decrease this activation barrier. In case of electrochemical reduction, we apply an external potential to the catalyst to increase the energy of the electrons of catalyst to reduce the CO2 molecule. We are in search of catalysts that will selectively give one product with very high reaction rate (high current density) at low potential. Currently we are working on different metal-based alloy and intermetallic, metal carbides, metal chalcogenide, single atom catalyst and we are able to convert CO2 to useful products like CO, HCOOH, CH3OH, CH3COOH, C2H5OH etc. For industrialization we need current density of above 200 mA/cm2. To achieve this current density, we have changed our reaction setup from H-cell to flow cell in gas diffusion electrode (GDE) configuration that helped to overcome the low solubility of CO2 in aqueous medium in H-cell which limits the current density.