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Title: Efficient solar-driven electrochemical CO 2 reduction to hydrocarbons and oxygenates

Solar to chemical energy conversion could provide an alternative to mankind's unsustainable use of fossil fuels. One promising approach is the electrochemical reduction of CO 2 into chemical products, in particular hydrocarbons and oxygenates which are formed by multi-electron transfer reactions. Here, a nanostructured Cu-Ag bimetallic cathode is utilized to selectively and efficiently facilitate these reactions. When operated in an electrolysis cell, the cathode provides a constant energetic efficiency for hydrocarbon and oxygenate production. As a result, when coupled to Si photovoltaic cells, solar conversion efficiencies of 3-4% to the target products are achieved for 0.35 to 1 Sun illumination. Use of a four-terminal III-V/Si tandem solar cell configuration yields a conversion efficiency to hydrocarbons and oxygenates exceeding 5% at 1 Sun illumination. Here, this study provides a clear framework for the future advancement of efficient solar-driven CO 2 reduction devices.In a process analogous to natural photosynthesis, solar-driven reduction of carbon dioxide to hydrocarbon and oxygenate products is demonstrated with an overall efficiency exceeding 5%.
Authors:
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [3] ; ORCiD logo [2] ; ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [2] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [2] ; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)
  2. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States); Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
  3. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Hungarian Academy of Sciences Centre for Energy Research, Budapest (Hungary)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-05CH11231
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Energy & Environmental Science
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 10; Journal Issue: 10; Related Information: © The Royal Society of Chemistry.; Journal ID: ISSN 1754-5692
Publisher:
Royal Society of Chemistry
Research Org:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22); USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY
OSTI Identifier:
1465416