Ohio University - Center for Electrochemical Engineering Research,
Keywords: carbon dioxide, hydrocarbon generation, alcohol synthesis
Summary:Industrial organic synthesis with carbon dioxide as a feed currently exists in certain markets including epoxide copolymerization and sodium salicylate. On the other hand, typical electrochemical routes for carbon dioxide reduction typically produce simple molecules e.g. carbon monoxide and formic acid. The proposed technology from Ohio University uses electrochemical methods, under ambient conditions, to generate hydrocarbons and alcohols of various molecular weights include pentane, heptane and pentanol. This suggests that under certain conditions, long chain hydrocarbons and alcohols can be obtained at relatively low temperatures and pressures in comparison to current thermally-driven processes. Furthermore, electrochemical technologies can be coupled with renewable energy sources e.g. solar energy. This technology could result in a net reduction in emissions through the consumption of carbon dioxide as a feed for a downstream chemical, while reducing the impact on operating cost via low power consumption and cheap catalyst use.