Final Thesis

Power to Fuels: Electrochemical CO2 reduction

Key Info

Basic Information

Chemical Process Engineering
Focus/Key Topic:
experimental / constructive


The increasing input of electricity from renewable sources such as solar or wind energy into the energy networks causes challenges with regard to network stability and large-scale energy storage possibilities. One possible solution to overcome these challenges is the electrochemical conversion of surplus electrical energy into hydrogen and further on to hydrocarbons, followed by a liquid storage of the same by using the existing infrastructure for liquid fuels.

At the chair of chemical process engineering the research is focusing on the conversion of electrical bonded energy into chemical bonded energy. One well-known example is the water electrolysis, the reversing of the fuel cell process. Here water is split into oxygen and hydrogen. The chair of chemical process engineering is challenging the electrochemical reduction of CO2 to hydrocarbons (Power 2 Fuels).

Gas diffusion electrodes (GDE) give a suitable possibility to challenge this conversion. They offer a conjunction of a solid, liquid and gaseous interface, and an electrical conducting catalyst supporting an electrochemical reaction between the liquid and the gaseous phase. Typical processes using GDEs are so-called oxygen depolarization cathodes within the chloralkali process or platinum-based electrodes in fuel cells. Within this thesis the setup shall be optimized to increase the perfomance. This can include changeing the reactor design as well as experimentally testing new electrode and electrolyte materials.

desired prerequisite for this thesis are:

  • motivation for independently scientific work
  • basic designing knowledge (Inventor)
  • electrochemistry skills

This thesis offers you

  • versatile and challenging tasks
  • practical work in applied research
  • profound electrochemistry knowledge
  • comprehensive supervision

If you are interested in the work, you are welcome for a personal interview in which I present to you the project in more detail. The desired prerequisites for the work are desirable but not mandatory!