Electrochemical CO2 reduction reaction (eCO2RR) has opened the way to produce non‑fossil fuel‑based feedstock for the chemical industry, while at the same time contributing to reduction of the atmospheric concentration of CO2. The electrolysis process is straightforward and environmentally friendly, as it may be fully driven by renewable energy. Recent progress in eCO2RR has achieved production of CO and HCOOH with selectivity close to unity. In contrast, production of C2+ products such as the important ethylene and ethanol feedstock chemicals, currently occurs with limited selectivity and activity.
In the Daasbjerg Group, we focus on the design of the electrode-electrolyte interface to improve catalytic activity and selectivity. We plan to exploit our previously developed polymer brush technology to arrange and stack polymer segments with nanometre precision in order to control the chemical nature of the interface at the electrode surface. In an interplay between interfacial design and theoretical modelling of transport processes, the aim is to improve the performance of eCO2RR significantly and to direct the product formation step toward C2+ products. It is expected that the benign conditions provided by electrochemistry will render such processes adaptable to any laboratory or industrial setting without the need of expensive equipment. Finally, in collaboration with other research groups at CORC, we wish to explore the implementation of electrochemistry in bioreactors, let alone its use in carbon capture technologies.