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.
- carbon dioxide electroreduction
- electrolyte engineering
- process intensification
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