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Title: Design of an artificial photosynthetic system for production of alcohols in high concentration from CO 2

Abstract

Artificial photosynthesis of liquid fuels is a potential source for clean energy. Alcohols are particularly attractive products because of their high energy density and market value per amount of energy input. The major challenges in photo/electrochemical synthesis of alcohols from sunlight, water and CO 2 are low product selectivity, high membrane fuel-crossover losses, and high cost of product separation from the electrolyte. Here we propose an artificial photosynthesis scheme for direct synthesis and separation to almost pure ethanol with minimum product crossover using saturated salt electrolytes. The ethanol produced in the saturated salt electrolytes can be readily phase separated into a microemulsion, which can be collected as pure products in a liquid–liquid extractor. A novel design of an integrated artificial photosynthetic system is proposed that continuously produces >90 wt% pure ethanol using a polycrystalline copper cathode at a current density of 0.85 mA cm -2. The annual production rate of >90 wt% ethanol using such a photosynthesis system operating at 10 mA cm -2 (12% solar-to-fuel (STF) efficiency) can be 15.27 million gallons per year per square kilometer, which corresponds to 7% of the industrial ethanol production capacity of California.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2]
  1. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, Material Science Division
  2. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, Material Science Division; Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States). Dept. of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
OSTI Identifier:
1418285
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231; SC0004993
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Energy & Environmental Science
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 9; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 1754-5692
Publisher:
Royal Society of Chemistry
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY

Citation Formats

Singh, Meenesh R., and Bell, Alexis T. Design of an artificial photosynthetic system for production of alcohols in high concentration from CO2. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.1039/c5ee02783g.
Singh, Meenesh R., & Bell, Alexis T. Design of an artificial photosynthetic system for production of alcohols in high concentration from CO2. United States. doi:10.1039/c5ee02783g.
Singh, Meenesh R., and Bell, Alexis T. Fri . "Design of an artificial photosynthetic system for production of alcohols in high concentration from CO2". United States. doi:10.1039/c5ee02783g. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1418285.
@article{osti_1418285,
title = {Design of an artificial photosynthetic system for production of alcohols in high concentration from CO2},
author = {Singh, Meenesh R. and Bell, Alexis T.},
abstractNote = {Artificial photosynthesis of liquid fuels is a potential source for clean energy. Alcohols are particularly attractive products because of their high energy density and market value per amount of energy input. The major challenges in photo/electrochemical synthesis of alcohols from sunlight, water and CO2 are low product selectivity, high membrane fuel-crossover losses, and high cost of product separation from the electrolyte. Here we propose an artificial photosynthesis scheme for direct synthesis and separation to almost pure ethanol with minimum product crossover using saturated salt electrolytes. The ethanol produced in the saturated salt electrolytes can be readily phase separated into a microemulsion, which can be collected as pure products in a liquid–liquid extractor. A novel design of an integrated artificial photosynthetic system is proposed that continuously produces >90 wt% pure ethanol using a polycrystalline copper cathode at a current density of 0.85 mA cm-2. The annual production rate of >90 wt% ethanol using such a photosynthesis system operating at 10 mA cm-2 (12% solar-to-fuel (STF) efficiency) can be 15.27 million gallons per year per square kilometer, which corresponds to 7% of the industrial ethanol production capacity of California.},
doi = {10.1039/c5ee02783g},
journal = {Energy & Environmental Science},
number = 1,
volume = 9,
place = {United States},
year = {2015},
month = {11}
}

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Cited by: 14 works
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