Reactor design for electrochemical CO2 conversion toward large-scale applications

13 Sep 2021

The electrocatalytic carbon dioxide reduction reaction (CO2RR) provides a way to use CO2 to produce valuable fuels and feedstocks powered by renewable electricity. Considerable efforts have been put into the development of catalysts with the aim to achieve high CO2RR performance, i.e., high activity, high product selectivity, and low overpotentials. However, few reports have been focused on the studies of electrolyzers, which are the key component toward the implementation of CO2RR on commercial scales. In this review, we overview the configurations and operating principles of widely used electrolyzers and summarize advantages and disadvantages of each. We discuss in detail recent progress of the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) electrolyzer, which is believed to be promising for commercialization of the CO2RR. Finally, we look at challenges and suggest strategies for future development of MEA electrolyzers.