Durable Cathodes and Electrolyzers for the Efficient Aqueous Electrochemical Reduction of CO2

Uzoma O. Nwabara, Emiliana R. Cofell, Sumit Verma, Emanuela Negro, Paul J.A. Kenis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The world emits over 14 gigatons of CO2 in excess of what can be remediated by natural processes annually, contributing to rising atmospheric CO2 levels and increasing global temperatures. The electrochemical reduction of CO2 (CO2RR) to value-added chemicals and fuels has been proposed as a method for reusing these excess anthropogenic emissions. While state-of-the-art CO2RR systems exhibit high current densities and faradaic efficiencies, research on long-term electrode durability, necessary for this technology to be implemented commercially, is lacking. Previous reviews have focused mainly on the CO2 electrolyzer performance without considering durability. In this Review, the need for research into high-performing and durable CO2RR systems is stressed by summarizing the state-of-the-art with respect to durability. Various failure modes observed are also reported and a protocol for standard durability testing of CO2RR systems is proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)855-875
Number of pages21
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 9 2020


  • CO reduction
  • durability
  • gas diffusion electrode
  • membrane electrode assembly
  • stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • General Energy


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