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The cathodic reduction of carbon dioxide—what can it realistically achieve? A mini review

The cathodic reduction of carbon dioxide—what can it realistically achieve? A mini review
The cathodic reduction of carbon dioxide—what can it realistically achieve? A mini review
There is a very large literature and continued interest in the electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide. The reasons for the continued study of this reaction are reviewed. Suggestions that the electrolytic reduction of carbon dioxide can be used to reduce the level of this greenhouse gas in the atmosphere are shown to be wishful thinking. Also, using this reaction as part of a cycle for large-scale energy storage is not a promising technology. More realistic goals are using CO2 as a cheap source of carbon in electrosynthesis and the development of sensors for CO2. The reduction of CO2 is also important from a fundamental viewpoint. Many different products have been confirmed depending on the electrolysis conditions (particularly electrode material and electrolyte medium), and understanding this variation would be a major boost to our understanding of electrode reactions in general. The reduction of CO2 is also an ideal model reaction for developing approaches to increasing the current density for large-scale electrolysis with gaseous reactants.
carbon dioxide, cathodic reduction, applications, impossible goals
1388-2481
97-101
Pletcher, Derek
f22ebe69-b859-4a89-80b0-9e190e6f8f30
Pletcher, Derek
f22ebe69-b859-4a89-80b0-9e190e6f8f30

Pletcher, Derek (2015) The cathodic reduction of carbon dioxide—what can it realistically achieve? A mini review. Electrochemistry Communications, 61, 97-101. (doi:10.1016/j.elecom.2015.10.006).

Record type: Article

Abstract

There is a very large literature and continued interest in the electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide. The reasons for the continued study of this reaction are reviewed. Suggestions that the electrolytic reduction of carbon dioxide can be used to reduce the level of this greenhouse gas in the atmosphere are shown to be wishful thinking. Also, using this reaction as part of a cycle for large-scale energy storage is not a promising technology. More realistic goals are using CO2 as a cheap source of carbon in electrosynthesis and the development of sensors for CO2. The reduction of CO2 is also important from a fundamental viewpoint. Many different products have been confirmed depending on the electrolysis conditions (particularly electrode material and electrolyte medium), and understanding this variation would be a major boost to our understanding of electrode reactions in general. The reduction of CO2 is also an ideal model reaction for developing approaches to increasing the current density for large-scale electrolysis with gaseous reactants.

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Accepted/In Press date: 14 October 2015
e-pub ahead of print date: 21 October 2015
Published date: December 2015
Keywords: carbon dioxide, cathodic reduction, applications, impossible goals
Organisations: Chemistry

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 383689
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/383689
ISSN: 1388-2481
PURE UUID: 8adba0f2-6e20-4afe-87da-be9baf00a66f

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Date deposited: 09 Nov 2015 13:05
Last modified: 25 Nov 2019 20:28

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