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Title: Carbon Dioxide and Water Electrolysis Using New Alkaline Stable Anion Membranes

The recent development and market introduction of a new type of alkaline stable imidazole-based anion exchange membrane and related ionomers by Dioxide Materials is enabling the advancement of new and improved electrochemical processes which can operate at commercially viable operating voltages, current efficiencies, and current densities. These processes include the electrochemical conversion of CO 2 to formic acid (HCOOH), CO 2 to carbon monoxide (CO), and alkaline water electrolysis, generating hydrogen at high current densities at low voltages without the need for any precious metal electrocatalysts. The first process is the direct electrochemical generation of pure formic acid in a three-compartment cell configuration using the alkaline stable anion exchange membrane and a cation exchange membrane. The cell operates at a current density of 140 mA/cm 2 at a cell voltage of 3.5 V. The power consumption for production of formic acid (FA) is about 4.3–4.7 kWh/kg of FA. The second process is the electrochemical conversion of CO 2 to CO, a key focus product in the generation of renewable fuels and chemicals. The CO 2 cell consists of a two-compartment design utilizing the alkaline stable anion exchange membrane to separate the anode and cathode compartments. A nanoparticle IrO 2 catalystmore » on a GDE structure is used as the anode and a GDE utilizing a nanoparticle Ag/imidazolium-based ionomer catalyst combination is used as a cathode. The CO 2 cell has been operated at current densities of 200 to 600 mA/cm 2 at voltages of 3.0 to 3.2 respectively with CO 2 to CO conversion selectivities of 95–99%. The third process is an alkaline water electrolysis cell process, where the alkaline stable anion exchange membrane allows stable cell operation in 1 M KOH electrolyte solutions at current densities of 1 A/cm 2 at about 1.90 V. The cell has demonstrated operation for thousands of hours, showing a voltage increase in time of only 5 μV/h. The alkaline electrolysis technology does not require any precious metal catalysts as compared to polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) design water electrolyzers. Here, we discuss the detailed technical aspects of these three technologies utilizing this unique anion exchange membrane.« less
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  1. Dioxide Materials, Boca Raton, FL (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AR0000684; SC0004453
Published Article
Journal Name:
Frontiers in Chemistry
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 2296-2646
Frontiers Research Foundation
Research Org:
Dioxide Materials, Boca Raton, FL (United States); 3M Company, St. Paul, MN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E)
Contributing Orgs:
LanzaTech, Skokie, IL (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
08 HYDROGEN; 10 SYNTHETIC FUELS; 25 ENERGY STORAGE; Anion membranes; electrochemical; formic acid; carbon monoxide; CO2 utilization; alkaline water electrolysis
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1458767