Novel Polymer-electrolyte Membrane Development for Carbon Dioxide Conversion to Solar Fuel

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0019703
Agency Tracking Number: 242771
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: 19b
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0001940
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-06-13
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-11-18
Small Business Information
2342 Shattuck Avenue, #820, Berkeley, CA, 94704-1517
DUNS: 079865172
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Kendra Kuhl
 (650) 291-5614
 kendra@opus-12.com
Business Contact
 Etosha Cave
Phone: (281) 235-2314
Email: cave@opus-12.com
Research Institution
 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
 110 8th Street
Troy, NY, 12180-3522
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
Sustainable fuels and chemicals production is necessary for the future of the global economy. Opus 12 has developed an electrochemical process to convert CO2 into solar chemicals and fuels. Key to our process is a new polymer-electrolyte membrane design that enables CO2 electroreduction in existing a polymer-electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolyzer hardware. PEM electrolyzers are ideal for coupling to intermittent solar power because they can ramp up and down quickly without performance degradation. Use of this industrially-proven electrochemical reactor design to perform this CO2 conversion gives us a clear pathway to manufacturability and scalability. Through a Phase I award, we aim to further improve our membrane formulation to achieve performance efficiency and selectivity needed to compete with existing chemical and fuels production processes at the large scale. We will work with Prof. Chulsung Bae at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to incorporate his new, high-performance polymer-electrolytes into our membranes. Hitting our Phase I targets would allow us to scale up to a larger CO2 conversion system in Phase II. Utilizing increasingly low-cost and abundant solar electricity to make solar fuels and chemicals could decrease costs, reduce air pollution, and create new jobs in regions with few opportunities by distributing production of these materials.

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

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