Elucidation of Critical Catalyst Layer Phenomena toward High Production Rates for the Electrochemical Conversion of CO to Ethylene

Danielle Henckel, Prantik Saha, Fry Intia, Audrey Taylor, Carlos Baez-Cotto, Leiming Hu, Maarten Schellekens, Hunter Simonson, Elisa Miller, Sumit Verma, Scott Mauger, Wilson Smith, K. Neyerlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This work utilizes EIS to elucidate the impact of catalyst-ionomer interactions and cathode hydroxide ion transport resistance (RCL,OH-) on cell voltage and product selectivity for the electrochemical conversion of CO to ethylene. When using the same Cu catalyst and a Nafion ionomer, varying ink dispersion and electrode deposition methods results in a change of 2 orders of magnitude for RCL,OH- and ca. a 25% change in electrode porosity. Decreasing RCL,OH- results in improved ethylene Faradaic efficiency (FE), up to ~57%, decrease in hydrogen FE, by ~36%, and reduction in cell voltage by up to 1 V at 700 mA/cm2. Through the optimization of electrode fabrication conditions, we achieve a maximum of 48% ethylene with >90% FE for non-hydrogen products in a 25 cm2 membrane electrode assembly at 700 mA/cm2 and <3 V. Additionally, the implications of optimizing RCL,OH- is translated to other material requirements, such as anode porosity. We find that the best performing electrodes use ink dispersion and deposition techniques that project well into roll-to-roll processes, demonstrating the scalability of the optimized process.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)3243-3252
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2024

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-85758

Keywords

  • CO reduction
  • electrode fabrication
  • hydroxide transport
  • ionomer coverage
  • membrane electrode assembly

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