Electrochemical Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis of Renewable Liquid Fuels from CO2
Despite a rapid decline of electricity costs, there is still demand for energy-dense liquid fuels, such as in heavy freight and air transportation. Liquid fuels can be synthesized from a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen called synthesis gas (syngas). However, this process requires high temperatures and pressures, and is itself responsible for significant greenhouse gas emissions. We propose the use of electrocatalysis to produce these liquid fuels. To accomplish this, we will use computational modeling and machine learning methods to design electrocatalysts that efficiently convert CO2 or syngas into dense chemical fuels. These computational efforts will be validated through a parallel experimental approach that includes the fabrication of new catalyst formulations and the construction of prototype electrochemical flow cells.
This project will enable the synthesis of clean, energy-dense liquid fuels that can replace the use of fossil-derived fuels in industry and transportation sectors.