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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Sequential Cascade Electrocatalytic Conversion of Carbon Dioxide to C-C Coupled Products

  • Author(s): Gurudayal, G
  • Perone, D
  • Malani, S
  • Lum, Y
  • Haussener, S
  • Ager, JW
  • et al.

© Copyright 2019 American Chemical Society. Cascade catalytic processes perform multistep chemical transformations without isolating the intermediates. Here, we demonstrate a sequential cascade pathway to convert CO2 to C2+ hydrocarbons and oxygenates in a two-step electrocatalytic process using CO as the intermediate. CO2 to CO conversion is performed by using Ag, and further conversion of CO to C-C coupled products is performed with Cu. Temporal separation between the two reaction steps is accomplished by situating the Ag electrode upstream of the Cu electrode in a continuous flow reactor. Convection-diffusion simulations and experimental evaluation of the electrodes individually are performed to identify optimal conditions. With the upstream Ag electrode poised at -1 V versus reversible hydrogen electrode in a flow of CO2-saturated water in aqueous carbonate buffer, over 80% of the CO can be converted on the downstream Cu electrode. When the Ag electrode is on, a supersaturation of CO is achieved near the Cu electrode, which leads to a relative increase in the formation rate of C2 and C3 oxygenates as compared to ethylene.

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