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Continuous electroreduction of CO2 to formate using Sn gas diffusion electrodes



Electrochemical valorization may be a strategy for mitigating climate change, as the process allows for CO2 to be converted into industrially useful chemicals. The aim of this work is to study the influence of key variables on the performance of an experimental system for continuous electroreduction of CO2 to formate with a gas diffusion electrode (GDE) loaded with Sn. A 23 factorial design of experiments at different levels of current density (j), electrolyte flow rate/electrode area ratio (Q/A ratio) and GDE Sn load was followed. Higher rates and concentrations (i.e., 1.4·10−3 mol m−2 s−1 and 1348 mg L−1 with efficiencies of approximately 70%) were obtained with GDEs than with plate electrodes. The statistical design of experiments demonstrated that the Sn load had the most significant effect on rate and efficiency. However, despite these promising results, further research is required to optimize the process. © 2014 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 60: 3557–3564, 2014