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CHBE 565 Seminar, Prof. Alexis T. Bell, University of California Berkeley, (Mironenko), "Application of Chemical Reaction Engineering Principles to the Electrochemical Reduction of CO2"

Event Type
Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering and International Paper Company
2079 Natural History Building
Christine Bowser

Global emissions of CO2 are responsible for climate change and all of the associated consequences. While the use of electrical energy generated by wind and solar radiation hold great promise for reducing the emission of CO2 to the atmosphere, there will remains areas in which carbon-based fuels are required, not to speak of a wide range of carbon-based chemicals and polymers. The electrochemical reduction of CO2 (EC CO2R) to carbon-containing fuels represents a potential means for capturing CO2 emitted from point sources (Al and Fe smelting, sugar fermentation, etc.) and ultimately from the atmosphere. The achievement of a solar-based CO2 conversion technology requires a deep understanding of the factors influencing the processes by which CO2 is reduced to targeted products at the cathode of an electrochemical cell as well as the design of the cell used to implement this process. This talk will cover both aspects and will emphasize the role that knowledge of electrochemistry and chemical reaction engineering can be used to work towards the desired goal. The role of the microenvironment near the surface of the cathode catalyst in shaping the catalyst activity and selectivity will be examikned as will roles of mass transfer and reaction in a membrane electrode assembly, a cell configuration well suited for practical EC CO2R.

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