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Hybrid Approaches to Bio-Materials and Bio-Inorganic Electrochemical Carbon Dioxide Reduction

  • Author(s): Nichols, Eva Megan
  • Advisor(s): Chang, Christopher J.
  • et al.

Environmental challenges associated with rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations and the promise of CO2 as a cheap and abundant carbon feedstock motivate the search for technologies to transform CO2 into value-added chemical products. The development of stable, efficient, and selective electrocatalysts is challenging, and has traditionally been approached from either a molecular, materials, or biological perspective, each of which have benefits and drawbacks. In order to exploit the benefits of these distinct approaches and minimize their disadvantages, we have directed efforts into exploring hybrid systems for CO2 reduction. This thesis describes a bio-materials strategy designed to synergistically interface living organisms and electrocatalytic materials to achieve artificial photosynthetic transformations. We subsequently describe electrocatalytic CO2 reduction with molecular catalytics that have been inspired by design elements found in bioinorganic systems.

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