177. Performance and long-term stability of CO2 conversion to formic acid using a three-compartment electrolyzer design

Hongzhou Yang, Jerry J. Kaczur, Syed Dawar Sajjad and Richard I. Masel; Journal of CO2 Utilization; (2020); DOI: 10.1016/j.jcou.2020.101349

The electrochemical reduction of CO2 to formate and formic acid has attracted a great amount of academic and commercial interest over the past five years. A number of experimental studies have generated data on the Faradaic performance and stability of various candidate catalyst materials in producing formate or formic acid. However, most of the data has been conducted at low current densities and over short time periods, typically hours to days. There is a critical need in providing long-term catalyst stability as well as electrolyzer-based operating data, which are needed for the commercial scale-up and operation of this technology, especially at high current densities. In this paper, the electrochemical CO2 conversion to pure formic acid was conducted using a three-compartment design electrolyzer, demonstrating electrolyzer catalyst and performance stability for over 1000 h at current densities up to 200 mA cm−2. Depending on the operation conditions, the electrolyzer directly produced a 6.03–12.92 wt% (1.3–2.8 M) formic acid product at Faradaic efficiencies ranging between 73.0–91.3%. Data on electrolyzer performance, including formic acid product generation rate, energy efficiency, and energy consumption are reported at three different current densities, 100, 200, and 250 mA cm−2. Lastly, a long term 1000 h electrolyzer stability run at 200 mA cm−2 is presented, providing information on the operating conditions required in obtaining stable electrolyzer performance. All the data will be extremely useful in the commercial scale-up of this technology.