The future energy infrastructure, which will be based on technologies with a negative footprint using resources abundant in Europe, in alignment with the European goal of climate neutrality 2050, is based on two mayor axis, the green production of H2 and the reduction of CO2 emissions, by the improvement or electrification of the processes, or by its capture and conversion to value-added products or fuels, also as a way to storage renewable energy. In this scenario, electrochemistry coupled to renewable energies, is emerging as the most efficient way to product green fuels and chemicals, due to the soft conditions of its application, and the broad spectrum of possibilities.
Electrochemical CO2 reduction reaction (eCO2RR) is a very promising approach, and this field has advanced immensely in recent years, with the development of commercial CO2 electrolysers as a main objective. To become a competitive industrial alternative is a non-trivial task since it requires the enhancement of the electrodes’ energy efficiency, stability and selectivity. Such a boost in performance is challenging, and forms the stepping stones to climb the TRL ladder towards the future commercialization. In this sense, huge efforts have been focused on catalysts development or electrode configuration. However, few efforts have been made to improve cell design, and get the most out of catalysts, which is crucial for the overall performance and final implementation of the technology.
In CellCO2, we propose the design and fabrication of an optimized 500 cm2 prototype for CO2 electro-reduction, versatile, using novel and highly efficient catalyst materials, fabricated by environmentally friendly synthesis methods. This prototype will be a first approach in upscaling the technology: on one hand, the catalyst would be tested in a closer-to-industrial conditions and on the other hand, the prototype would be used as a strategic model to show potential applications to companies interested in decarbonization alternatives.
The final implementation of the technology proposed in CellCO2 project, will have an important impact in environmental, social and industrial sectors. The mitigation of CO2 emissions and reutilization to generate green fuels precursors, is fundamental for the zero-carbon energy transition, allowing to progress towards a more sustainable future, which will ultimately affect the health of the population, increasing the quality and life expectancy.
Amb el suport del Departament de Recerca i Universitats de la Generalitat de Catalunya.