A Scalable Membrane Electrode Assembly Architecture for Efficient Electrochemical Conversion of CO2 to Formic Acid: Article No. 7605

Leiming Hu, Jacob Wrubel, Carlos Baez-Cotto, Fry Intia, Jae Hyung Park, Arthur Kropf, Nancy Kariuki, Zhe Huang, Ahmed Farghaly, Lynda Amichi, Prantik Saha, David A. Cullen, Deborah J. Myers, Magali S. Ferrandon, Kenneth Neyerlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus Citations

Abstract

The electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide to formic acid is a promising pathway to improve CO2 utilization and has potential applications as a hydrogen storage medium. In this work, a zero-gap membrane electrode assembly architecture is developed for the direct electrochemical synthesis of formic acid from carbon dioxide. The key technological advancement is a perforated cation exchange membrane, which, when utilized in a forward bias bipolar membrane configuration, allows formic acid generated at the membrane interface to exit through the anode flow field at concentrations up to 0.25 M. Having no additional interlayer components between the anode and cathode this concept is positioned to leverage currently available materials and stack designs ubiquitous in fuel cell and H2 electrolysis, enabling a more rapid transition to scale and commercialization. The perforated cation exchange membrane configuration can achieve >75% Faradaic efficiency to formic acid at <2 V and 300 mA/cm2 in a 25 cm2 cell. More critically, a 55-hour stability test at 200 mA/cm2 shows stable Faradaic efficiency and cell voltage. Technoeconomic analysis is utilized to illustrate a path towards achieving cost parity with current formic acid production methods.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages11
JournalNature Communications
Volume14
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-85814

Keywords

  • carbon utilization
  • CO2 reduction
  • formic acid
  • renewable energy
  • scalable architecture

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