System Design Rules for Intensifying the Electrochemical Reduction of CO2 to CO on Ag Nanoparticles

Saket S. Bhargava, Federica Proietto, Daniel Azmoodeh, Emiliana R. Cofell, Danielle A. Henckel, Sumit Verma, Christopher J. Brooks, Andrew A. Gewirth, Paul J.A. Kenis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Electroreduction of CO2 (eCO2RR) is a potentially sustainable approach for carbon-based chemical production. Despite significant progress, performing eCO2RR economically at scale is challenging. Here we report meeting key technoeconomic benchmarks simultaneously through electrolyte engineering and process optimization. A systematic flow electrolysis study - performing eCO2RR to CO on Ag nanoparticles as a function of electrolyte composition (cations, anions), electrolyte concentration, electrolyte flow rate, cathode catalyst loading, and CO2 flow rate - resulted in partial current densities of 417 and 866 mA/cm2 with faradaic efficiencies of 100 and 98 % at cell potentials of −2.5 and −3.0 V with full cell energy efficiencies of 53 and 43 %, and a conversion per pass of 17 and 36 %, respectively, when using a CsOH-based electrolyte. The cumulative insights of this study led to the formulation of system design rules for high rate, highly selective, and highly energy efficient eCO2RR to CO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2001-2011
Number of pages11
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 4 2020


  • carbon dioxide electroreduction
  • electrolyte engineering
  • nanoparticles
  • process intensification
  • silver

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Electrochemistry


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