New CO₂-to-ethanol electrocatalyst with 90% selectivity developed at Argonne National Laboratory

August 10, 2020
Owning the Energy Transition
Average importance

A Faradaic efficiency (selectivity) of 90% is a huge improvement on existing CO2-to-ethanol electrocatalysts, whose selectivities hover at 10% to 20% today. The new catalyst exhibits similar selectivity to CO2-to-CO and CO2-to-formic acid electrolysis platforms that are being scaled up today. While it is an impressive achievement, the energy efficiency was not yet disclosed, and energy costs (i.e., electricity) are by far the highest cost component of CO2 electrolysis. Clients interested in academic pursuits in CO2 electrolysis should monitor this project, but it will take many years for a commercial opportunity in CO2-to-ethanol electrolysis to arise. 

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