Canadian researchers using electolyzer to produce carbon-based molecules

February 10, 2020 |

In Canada, fuel cells turn chemicals into electricity. Now, a University of Toronto Engineering team has adapted technology from fuel cells to do the reverse: harness electricity to make valuable chemicals from waste carbon (CO2).

In a hydrogen fuel cell, hydrogen and oxygen come together on the surface of a catalyst. The chemical reaction releases electrons, which are captured by specialized materials within the fuel cell and pumped into a circuit.

The opposite of a fuel cell is an electolyzer, which uses electricity to drive a chemical reaction. The paper’s authors are experts in designing electrolyzers that convert CO2 into other carbon-based molecules, such as ethylene.

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Category: Research

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