$CO_{2}$ Reduction in Electrochemical Membrane Reactors

  • $CO_{2}$ Reduktion in elektrochemischen Membranreaktoren

Vennekötter, Jan-Bernd; Wessling, Matthias (Thesis advisor); Eichel, Rüdiger-A. (Thesis advisor)

Aachen (2020)
Dissertation / PhD Thesis

Dissertation, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen, 2020


Electrochemical CO2 reduction is capable of providing renewable carbon-based platform chemicals by using green electricity as the driving force for the reaction. Thereby fossil resources in the chemical industry can be replaced and energy-strapped times can be buffered. Within this thesis we demonstrate in a first step that industrial relevant current densities with high current and energetic efficiencies can only be achieved by moving beyond today's research form catalyst development only. An integrated reactor design is needed to exploit the viable potential of electrochemical CO2 reduction catalysts. To conclude, a clear guideline for electrochemical membrane reactor electrolyte operation for a long-term stable system performance is given. We highlight the need for a deeper understanding of interfacial phenomena to bring the electrochemical reduction to a maximum energetic efficiency. Finally, we demonstrate the complexity of energetic efficient process operation while highlighting at the same time its potential to integrate higher shares of renewable energies into existing production processes. Even though the focus of the study is on small scale electrochemical membrane reactors, a clear guideline for industrial scale up is given. Further catalyst and electrode design is necessary to be able to reduce CO2 with high selectivities to different C1 and C2 products. To understand the integration and the cross-influences of different operation conditions an integration in more rigorous process models is necessary to find the optimum work point of the electrolysis.