Electrochemical approaches to alleviation of the problem of carbon
C. M. Sánchez-Sánchez1,**, V. Montiel1, D. A. Tryk2,
A. Aldaz1, and A. Fujishima2
1Grupo Electroquímica Aplicada, Departamento
de Química Física, Universidad de Alicante, Ap. 99, E-03080,
Alicante, Spain; 2Department of Applied Chemistry, School of Engineering,
The University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan
Abstract: The electrochemical reduction of CO2, which includes
a number of different specific approaches, may show promise as a means
to help slow down the accumulation of this greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.
Two types of approaches are examined briefly here. First, CO2 can be
used as a reagent in the electrocarboxylation reaction to produce organic
carboxylic acids, for example, the pharmaceutical ibuprofen. Second,
CO2 can be converted to a fuel, either directly or via synthesis gas.
The latter can be produced with reasonably good energy efficiency in
a gas-diffusion, electrode-based cell even at present with existing
electrocatalysts. Oxygen gas is produced as a by-product. Further work
is needed to improve the selectivity and efficiency in this and other
* An issue of reviews and research papers based on
presentations made at the IUPAC/ICSU Workshop on
Electrochemistry and Interfacial Chemistry in Environmental Clean-up
and Green Chemical Processes, Coimbra, Portugal, 6-7 April, 2001.
** Corresponding author.
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