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Microfluidic System for CO2 Reduction to Hydrocarbons

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0015173
Agency Tracking Number: 0000220717
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: 15c
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2016
Award Year: 2016
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2016-02-29
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2016-11-21
Small Business Information
315 Huls Drive
Englewood, OH 45315-8983
United States
DUNS: 793274747
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Brian Skinn
 (937) 836-7749
Business Contact
 EJ Taylor
Title: Dr.
Phone: (937) 836-7749
Research Institution
77 Massachusetts Avenue Building E19-750
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States

 (617) 324-6287
 Nonprofit College or University

In the near term, in order to mitigate carbon emissions to the extent possible while carbon-neutral, renewable energy resources are developed sufficiently to address the total demand of the Nation, there is a significant need for technologies capable of up-converting captured carbon dioxide either to value-added products or to forms able to be safely sequestered. In particular, access must be opened to a larger and more diverse market than just direct sales of the captured CO2. Electrocatalytic conversion of CO2 to value-added materials has been demonstrated on a number of metallic and alloy materials. In the proposed Phase I program, tin electrocatalysts, known for their capability to reduce CO2 to formate, will be fabricated with novel microstructures enabled by pulsed-waveform electrodeposition. These electrocatalysts will be incorporated into a state-of-the-art benchtop flow-through electroreactor to demonstrate preliminary feasibility of economical conversion of CO2 to formate. Existing, patented electrodeposition cells with carefully tailored flow pathways will be retrofitted for electrodeposition of tin onto high-surface area substrates such as carbon felt and/or carbon paper. Pulsed-waveform electrodeposition will be used to fabricate tin electrocatalyst layers in a variety of micro-structural configurations. These electrocatalysts will be characterized by various methods and integrated into a state-of-the-art flow-through electroreactor for benchtop evaluation of their CO2 reduction performance. A high-level life-cycle analysis and near-term economic/scale-up analysis will be performed to provide insight, respectively, into the true environmental benefits afforded by the technology and the contours of its pathway to commercialization. In order to minimize carbon dioxide emissions from burning of fossil fuels, enhanced technologies for the conversion of captured carbon dioxide are needed. This program seeks to develop a process to transform carbon dioxide to formic acid by electrochemical means as a partial solution to this challenge.

Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: A suitably efficient and selective conversion process would provide a means for converting waste carbon dioxide to a significantly more valuable material with substantial market outlets in animal husbandry, fabric production, and in the manufacture of products as diverse as pharmaceuticals and PVC plastic. Significant public benefit in the form of mitigation of the atmospheric greenhouse gas burden would result from introduction of an economical process for diversion of emitted carbon dioxide.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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