Carbon Corrosion in CO2 Electrolysis Systems

Research output: NRELPresentation


Driven by concerns over climate change, interest in CO2 conversion technologies has dramatically increased in recent years. By viewing CO2 as a readily available feedstock, many pathways for the production of carbon-neutral fuels and chemicals become available. In converting CO2, low carbon emitting energy sources must be used to ensure a low carbon footprint of the fuel and chemical products. The low-temperature electrochemical conversion of CO2 is a promising technology and allows for direct integration with renewable electricity sources. The development of low-temperature CO2 electrolysis technologies is informed by both PEM fuel cells and water electrolyzers, both of which are at a higher stage of development. However, CO2 electrolysis operates at a much higher cell voltage (-3V) than other low-temperature electrochemical processes, which can have implications for materials compatibility in the electrolyzer device. Carbon corrosion is of particular concern for the anode of CO2 electrolyzers, as a large driving force for corrosion exists due to the high required cell potentials. In this presentation, recent observations will be shared on carbon corrosion of the anode gas diffusion electrode (GDE) in low-temperature alkaline exchange membrane CO2 electrolysis. Results from ex-situ tests designed to isolate the carbon corrosion process for anode GDEs will be shared. These results will provide guidance on materials selection for CO2 utilization MEAs, which need to have a lifetime of several years to ensure industrial viability.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages38
StatePublished - 2023

Publication series

NamePresented at the American Chemical Society (ACS) Spring Meeting, 26-30 March 2023, Indianapolis, Indiana

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5100-85759


  • carbon corrosion
  • CO2 electrolysis
  • degradation
  • gas
  • gas diffusion electrode
  • membrane electrode assembly
  • stability


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