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Microfluidic reactor for the electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide

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Title: Microfluidic reactor for the electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide
Author(s): Whipple, Devin T.
Advisor(s): Kenis, Paul J.A.
Department / Program: Chemical & Biomolecular Engr
Discipline: Chemical Engineering
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: M.S.
Genre: Thesis
Subject(s): carbon dioxide electrochemical reduction microfluidic reactor
Abstract: The electrochemical reduction of CO2 has the potential to address many of the intertwined issues of energy security and climate change. Efficient conversion of CO2 into hydrocarbons using renewable electricity would provide a renewable source of these chemicals and would also provide a high energy density means of storing renewable energy. However, to make the electrochemical reduction of CO2 a viable process, significant improvements are needed to increase the efficiency and current density. This thesis reports the design and demonstration of a microfluidic reactor for the electrochemical reduction of CO2 that uses a flowing liquid electrolyte. This flowing electrolyte provides enormous flexibility and control over the reaction conditions and enables the use of a reference electrode to study individual electrode performances. These characteristics make the reactor and excellent tool for studying and optimizing catalysts and reaction parameters. The utility of this design is demonstrated by: (i) comparison of several catalysts for reduction of CO2 to formic acid, and (ii) investigation of the effects of pH on Sn catalyst for production of formic acid.
Issue Date: 2010-01-06
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/14648
Rights Information: Copyright 2009 Devin Talmage Whipple
Date Available in IDEALS: 2010-01-06
Date Deposited: December 2
 

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