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Coupling electrochemical CO2 conversion with CO2 capture

An Author Correction to this article was published on 20 January 2022

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Abstract

Electrochemical CO2 conversion into fuels or chemicals and CO2 capture from point or dilute sources are two important processes to address the gigaton challenges in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Both CO2 capture and electrochemical CO2 conversion are energy intensive, and synergistic coupling between the two processes can improve the energy efficiency of the system and reduce the cost of the reduced products, via eliminating the CO2 transport and storage or eliminating the capture media regeneration and molecular CO2 release. We consider three different levels to couple electrochemical CO2 reduction with CO2 capture: independent (Type-I), subsequent (Type-II) and fully integrated (Type-III) capture and conversion processes. We focus on Type-II and Type-III configurations and illustrate potential coupling routes of different capture media, which include amine-based solutions and direct carbamate reduction, redox active carriers, aqueous carbonate and bicarbonate solutions, ionic liquids CO2 capture and conversion mediated by covalent organic frameworks.

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Fig. 1: Type-I, independent electrochemical CO2R and CO2 capture processes.
Fig. 2: Type-II, subsequent stage electrochemical CO2R and CO2 capture processes.
Fig. 3: Type-III, fully integrated electrochemical CO2R and CO2 capture processes.
Fig. 4: CO2 capture and conversion energetics for Type-I and II (red) and Type-III (green).

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Acknowledgements

This material is based on work performed by the Liquid Sunlight Alliance, which is supported by the US Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, and Fuels from Sunlight Hub under award no. DE-SC0021266. We also acknowledge the support from SoCalGas on the analysis of CO2 capture processes under award no. 5660060287. This research received funding from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) under project no. 733.000.008 in the framework of the Solar to Products programme co-funded by Shell Global Solutions International B.V., and from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement no. 852115).

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Contributions

C.X., H.A.A. and D.A.V. conceptualized and organized different levels of coupling between electrochemical CO2 conversion with CO2 capture in the manuscript. I.S. and A.G. contributed to writing and editing of the various approaches for coupling CO2 capture with CO2 conversion. I.A.D. and X.L. contributed to preparing the figures and references, as well as editing of the manuscript.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Harry A. Atwater, David A. Vermaas or Chengxiang Xiang.

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Peer review information Nature Catalysis thanks Caroline Saouma and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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Sullivan, I., Goryachev, A., Digdaya, I.A. et al. Coupling electrochemical CO2 conversion with CO2 capture. Nat Catal 4, 952–958 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41929-021-00699-7

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