ECOTHYLENE

Electrochemical CO2 reduction to ETHYLENE for industrial applications

Project period: 2018-2022

Grant: DK kr. 4,8 mio.

The proposed project will focus on investigating industrial relevant parameters (e.g. elevated temperatures, scalable catalysts, etc.) for an electrochemical CO2 reduction to ethylene. DTU Physics will focus on optimizing the catalysts, whereas IRD Fuel Cells and DTU Energy will focus on integrating catalysts into commercial size electrodes as well as improving overall electrode performance.

 

Catalyst development

This project focuses on finding optimal catalysts and producing them in a scalable manner for industrial processes. Thus wet-chemical synthesis will be the primary approach to catalysis production, however sputtering techniques may also be investigated. These synthesis capabilities are represented strongly at both DTU Physics and DTU Energy and should allow for rapid creation of the desired structures. Initially, focus will be on producing Cu <100> faceted nanoparticles due to its high ethylene selectivity, but may focus on other Cu facets or materials if new fundamental discoveries are made. Cu <100> facet will be produced as adjustably sized nanocubes with the optimal particle probably being a function of both the edge/terrace ratio and effects due to mass transfer in an operating device. Nanoparticles will be characterized ex-situ as well as in aqueous electrochemical H-cell setups to relate catalyst to literature results. However, industrial relevant conditions (high currents and higher temperatures) are difficult to test in aqueous environment, thus integration of the catalysts into GDEs and test in full cells are planned.

 

Electrode development and up-scaling

Over the last few years IRD Fuel Cell has established themselves as experts in the electrocatalysis, particularly in the MEA manufacturing process, which allows for rapid commercial prototyping and simple transition to high volume manufacturing. Since 2018, IRD has been shifting their technology to also encompass electrochemical CO2 reduction and is looking to build this expertise to meet the growing demand.

IRD Fuel Cell and DTU Energy will collaborate closely about analysis of material properties based on long term test. DTU Energy contributes with advanced instrumentation and solid technical expertise in materials characterization for the mapping of structure-properties relationship of the GDEs. The characterization will include imaging (SEM/TEM/AFM) for the study of morphological effects in combination with electrochemical (voltammetry, EIS) and spectroscopic tools (NMR, FTIR) as well as chromatography (SEC) for studying chemical and electrochemical degradation. For each of the production steps in the production process there will be the need to assign proper quality control parameters to increase reproducibility.

 

Contact

Brian Seger
Professor
DTU Physics
+45 45 25 31 74

Contact

Ib Chorkendorff
Professor
DTU Physics
+45 45 25 31 70

Contact

Asger Barkholt Moss
Scientific floor manager
DTU Physics