Co-Synthesis of Hydrogen and Carbon Fuels from Water and Carbon Dioxide

Monday, 25 May 2015: 11:45
Boulevard Room B (Hilton Chicago)
F. F. Li, S. Liu, B. Cui, J. Lau, J. Stuart, and S. Licht (The George Washington University)
Non-fossil fuel based, low carbon footprint fuels are needed to ameliorate the effects of anthropogenic climate change. We have previously demonstrated molten hydroxide electrolytes for solar water splitting to hydrogen fuel, and molten carbonate electrolytes for solar carbon dioxide splitting to carbon or carbon monoxide fuels. Solid carbon (as coal) is used as the starting point to generate CO and hydrogen for the Fischer-Tropsch generation of a variety of fuels, such as synthetic diesel. However, that process is carbon dioxide emitting intensive. In this study we present the first molten electrolyte sustaining electrolytic co-production of both hydrogen and carbon products in a single cell (1). Here, hydrogen and carbon products are produced without carbon dioxide emissions and instead produced from water and carbon dioxide. The demonstrated functionality of hydroxide and carbonate electrolytes to co-generate hydrogen and carbon fuels at low electrolysis potentials, and from water and CO2starting points, provides a significant step towards the development of renewable fuels.
  1. Fang-Fang Li, Shuzhi Liu, Baochen Cui, Jason Lau, Jessica Stuart, Baohui Wang, and Stuart Licht, "A one-pot synthesis of hydrogen and carbon fuels from water and carbon dioxide," recommended for publication Nov. 20, 2014, Advanced Energy Materials