Breakthrough CO2 conversion technology: turning greenhouse gases into industrial resources
A team of researchers led by Professor Kevin-Giorgios Perumbi and Professor Wolf-Peter Apfel from Ruhr-University Bochum and the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT has made significant progress in the breakthrough development of carbon dioxide conversion technology. Ta. Their research, published in the journal Cell Reports Physical Science on December 13, 2023, revolves around the conversion of carbon dioxide, a notorious greenhouse gas, into a valuable industrial resource.
A revolution in electrode system design
The core innovation of their research lies in the creation of a unique electrode system. A team including scientists from Johannes Kepler University in Linz and the Fritz Haber Institute in Berlin has developed a method to efficiently convert CO2 into carbon monoxide using electrocatalysts. Electrocatalysis is a process that uses a voltage source to drive chemical transformations at electrodes, which are facilitated by a catalyst. These electrode systems integrate a homogeneous catalyst, usually a dissolved metal complex, onto the electrode surface without chemical bonding.
Great performance and stability
The newly developed system demonstrated remarkable performance with current densities exceeding 300 milliamps per square centimeter. More importantly, it remained stable for more than 100 hours. This proves its reliability and potential industrial applicability. This development has important implications for the chemical industry, where carbon monoxide is a common starting material.
Homogeneous catalysts: new horizons
Another notable finding of this study is the possibility of homogeneous catalysis in electrolytic cells. These catalysts can be used with specific electrode compositions that enable direct gas conversion without the need for solvents. No support material is required to chemically bond the catalyst to the electrode surface. This discovery opens new possibilities for testing and integrating high-performance, tunable, homogeneous electrocatalysts in electrochemical processes.
In conclusion, this breakthrough in CO2 conversion technology is a ray of hope in the fight against greenhouse gas emissions. The ability to convert CO2 into a useful industrial resource could have far-reaching implications for the future of our planet.