Electrochemical conversion of CO2 to useful chemicals: Current status, remaining challenges, and future opportunities

Huei Ru Molly Jhong, Sichao Ma, Paul Ja Kenis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The rise of atmospheric CO2 levels must be slowed, or better reverted, to avoid further undesirable climate change. Electrochemical reduction of CO2 into value-added chemicals using renewable energy is one approach to help address this problem as it will recycle 'spent' CO2 (carbon neutral cycle) and it provides a method to store or utilize otherwise wasted excess renewable energy from intermittent sources, both reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. Current electrolysis cells accomplish either high Faradaic efficiency (often >95% selectivity) for a desired product (e.g. CO), or reasonable current density (conversion), whereas both need to be high for a commercial process. This review will discuss current status and opportunities for catalyst design, electrolyte choice, and electrode structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-199
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Chemical Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy(all)

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