Electrocatalytic CO2 reduction

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The electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2R) is a key technology to combat global climate issues. By utilizing renewable energy, we can convert greenhouse gases into value-added commodity chemicals. While there has been a growing number of CO2R research in recent years, there are still many unanswered fundamental questions and engineering challenges. On a fundamental level, we would like to rationally design affordable and stable materials to control the reaction pathway to selectively produce C2 and C3 products and understand the electrolyte ion effects at the electrochemical interface. On a practical system level, we need to reduce carbonate formation and mass transport limitations, lower the operating cell voltage, improve CO2 utilization and energy efficiencies, and incorporate real world CO2 streams containing SOx/NOx.

With this collection, we encourage scientists from different academic backgrounds to explore these remaining challenges in the CO2 electrochemical reduction reaction and provide a forum for the CO2 community to share their latest research results. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Heterogeneous or homogeneous catalytic materials
  • Computational theory, including DFT and finite element modeling
  • Electrochemical interfaces and the electrolyte effects
  • In situ spectroscopic and electroanalytical methods for mechanistic investigations
  • System engineering for electrolyzer configurations
  • Technoeconomic analyses of practical CO2 electrolyzer systems

We welcome all submission of original research articles, reviews and perspectives related to the theme of CO2 electrocatalytic reduction.

Circular carbon economy


 Ana Sofia Varela studied Chemistry at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) followed by a master from the Autonomous University of Madrid and a PhD from the Technical University of Denmark with the thesis “The catalysis of CO2 electroreduction and related processes”. After completing a postdoc at the Technical University of Berlin in Prof Strasser’s group, she started her own research group on electrocatalysis at UNAM. As a recognition of her work, she received different recognitions including the “International Rising Talents” on behalf of L'Oreal-UNESCO in 2019.


 Chris Li is currently an Assistant Professor at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. He completed his B.S. degree (2010) in chemical engineering at the University of California, Davis. Chris subsequently worked as an R&D engineer in chemical industries for three years before starting his Chemistry Ph.D. at Penn State with Prof. Tom Mallouk. During 2018 – 2020, Chris joined Prof. Ted Sargent’s group as a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Toronto. Chris’ research interests focus on developing electroanalytical techniques to study chemical mechanisms in catalysis, energy storage and environmental applications.