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Published September 4, 2020 | Supplemental Material + Published
Journal Article Open

A direct coupled electrochemical system for capture and conversion of CO₂ from oceanwater


Capture and conversion of CO₂ from oceanwater can lead to net-negative emissions and can provide carbon source for synthetic fuels and chemical feedstocks at the gigaton per year scale. Here, we report a direct coupled, proof-of-concept electrochemical system that uses a bipolar membrane electrodialysis (BPMED) cell and a vapor-fed CO₂ reduction (CO₂R) cell to capture and convert CO₂ from oceanwater. The BPMED cell replaces the commonly used water-splitting reaction with one-electron, reversible redox couples at the electrodes and demonstrates the ability to capture CO₂ at an electrochemical energy consumption of 155.4 kJ mol⁻¹ or 0.98 kWh kg⁻¹ of CO₂ and a CO₂ capture efficiency of 71%. The direct coupled, vapor-fed CO₂R cell yields a total Faradaic efficiency of up to 95% for electrochemical CO₂ reduction to CO. The proof-of-concept system provides a unique technological pathway for CO₂ capture and conversion from oceanwater with only electrochemical processes.

Additional Information

© The Author(s) 2020. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. Received 18 May 2020; Accepted 30 July 2020; Published 04 September 2020. This material is based on work performed by the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, a DOE Energy Innovation Hub, supported through the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy under Award Number DE-SC0004993. M.L. acknowledges support from the Swiss National Science Foundation through the Early Postdoc Mobility Fellowship, Grant P2ELP2_178290. The authors thank the support from Sempra Energy on the cost and energy analysis of CO₂ capture from oceanwater. The authors are grateful to Dr. Nathan F. Dalleska at Caltech for the ion chromatography characterization of the synthetic oceanwater. Data availability: The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request. Code availability: All code used in simulations supporting this article is available from M.L. Author Contributions: I.A.D., I.S. and C.X. developed the conceptual idea and designed the experiments. I.A.D. and I.S. executed the experiments. M.L. performed the multi-physics modeling and simulation. C.X. and H.A.A. advised and supervised the work. I.A.D., I.S., M.L., L.H., and C.X. interpreted the data and wrote the manuscript. W.-H.C. fabricated the Ag-GDE. All the authors contributed in the intellectual discussions and finalized the paper. The authors declare no competing interests. Peer review information: Nature Communications thanks Thomas Burdyny, Matthew Eisaman and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work. Peer reviewer reports are available.

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Published - s41467-020-18232-y.pdf

Supplemental Material - 41467_2020_18232_MOESM1_ESM.pdf

Supplemental Material - 41467_2020_18232_MOESM2_ESM.pdf


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August 22, 2023
October 20, 2023