Bio-inspired Solar Energy | Industry & Technology

Catalysts in CO2 Electrochemical Reduction

Mar. 21, 2020  
Philadelphia, PA


By invitation only




One promising strategy for mitigating the environmental effects of CO2 emissions is to convert CO2 via electrochemical reduction into high value-added molecules such as methanol and ethylene. These commercially valuable products could help ensure the economic viability of deploying carbon capture and conversion technologies to offset CO2 emissions, while simultaneously reducing our reliance on new fossil sources to produce fuel and petrochemicals. While there has been significant recent progress in the development of laboratory-scale CO2 electroreduction devices, current offerings do not meet key specifications for industrial scale applications.

On March 21st, 2020, CIFAR fellows from the Bio-inspired Solar Energy research program will convene with international experts in academia, industry and national government laboratories to discuss developments in catalysts for CO2 electrolyzers. This invitation-only gathering will promote discussion of catalysts as a key component of electrolyzers that is amenable to optimization, to improve chemical reaction rates and achieve highly efficient and stable CO2 conversion. While a major focus of the conversation will be on the methods for in situ and in operando characterization of catalyst function, other topics related to catalyst chemistry will also be explored, such as the engineering properties of catalyst materials; chemical, economic and sustainability considerations for catalyst design; methods for accelerating the discovery and testing of new CO2 reduction catalysts; and the challenges, solutions and next steps for catalyst development.

This is the second in a series of roundtables aiming to expand the societal impact of CIFAR’s Bio-inspired Solar Energy program, with the goal of working towards a roadmap for the research and development of commercial-scale CO2 reduction systems.