Electrochemical Reduction of CO2in Tubular Flow Cells under Gas-Liquid Taylor Flow

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Abstract

Electrochemical reduction of CO2using renewable energy is a promising avenue for sustainable production of bulk chemicals. However, CO2electrolysis in aqueous systems is severely limited by mass transfer, leading to low reactor performance insufficient for industrial application. This paper shows that structured reactors operated under gas-liquid Taylor flow can overcome these limitations and significantly improve the reactor performance. This is achieved by reducing the boundary layer for mass transfer to the thin liquid film between the CO2bubbles and the electrode. This work aims to understand the relationship between process conditions, mass transfer, and reactor performance by developing an easy-to-use analytical model. We find that the film thickness and the volume ratio of CO2/electrolyte fed to the reactor significantly affect the current density and the faradaic efficiency. Additionally, we find industrially relevant performance when operating the reactor at an elevated pressure beyond 5 bar. We compare our predictions with numerical simulations based on the unit cell approach, showing good agreement for a large window of operating parameters, illustrating when the easy-to-use predictive expressions for the current density and faradaic efficiency can be applied.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12580-12587
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
Volume10
Issue number38
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • analytical model
  • COelectrolysis
  • H/CO
  • mass transfer limitations
  • pressure
  • slug flow
  • tubular flow cell
  • unit cell approach

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