Reduction of Carbon Dioxide

The direct transformation carbon dioxide emitted from the use of fossil fuels in energy, transportation and chemical process sectors involves its sequestration and then its storage or transformation towards a circular carbon economy, or its further valorization. In our laboratory we are interested in using renewable energy sources such as electricity from wind or solar cells or solar light reduce carbon dioxide to various C1 and C2 products. The research involves development of new inorganic compounds from a class of compounds called polyoxometalates that allow high fidelity synthesis and large potential of catalyst design.

An example of this research is the use of trisubstituted polyoxotungstates for the  electrocatalytic reduction of CO2. By rational choice of the substitution mode into the polyoxotungstate framework we can vary reaction outcomes from reversibility in the CO2 reduction reaction, to CO2 reduction at very low overpotentials and high faradaic efficiencies to formation of C2 products. Research includes basic science directions involving catalyst characterization and mechanistic studies using a range of spectroscopic techniques, but also in some cases development of gas phase electrolyzers for evaluation of future technological viability.