Chemistry Department Seminar

"Synthesis of Fuels and Chemicals by Electroreduction over Copper Catalysts"

Presented by Elizabeth J. Biddinger, The City College of New York, CUNY

Monday, August 6, 2018, 11:00 am — Room 300 - 3rd Flr. Chemistry Bldg. 555

Electrochemical synthesis methods offer opportunities to perform reactions under benign reaction conditions (at or near room temperature and pressure), use less harmful or waste-generating reaction steps, and perform selective reactions. In electroreduction reactions, externally-supplied hydrogen that is generally needed for reduction is not required. Rather, electrons, frequently paired with the electrolyte, are the reducing agents. New opportunities for utilization of electrochemical reactions exist with the emerging renewable electricity generation market. Due to the intermittent supply sources for many renewable electricity systems, excess electricity gets generated when peak generation (sunny or windy periods) does not match with demand. Electrochemical reactions can be performed at relatively low costs with this excess electricity to synthesize fuels for later use or chemicals. The work presented here will illustrate two synthesis systems via electroreduction – carbon dioxide electroreduction to hydrocarbons and furfural (a biomass-derived species) electrochemical hydrogenation and hydrogenolysis (ECH) to fuels and chemicals. Both of these reactions are performed over copper electrodes, serving as the catalysts for the system. Copper is utilized because of its unique balance between being active for the electroreduction and less active for the undesired side reaction hydrogen evolution. In CO2 electroreduction, copper is the only known metal to produce significant quantities of hydrocarbons. By tuning the morphology, the selectivity between ethylene and methane can be tuned. The results of morphological differences and the dynamic nature of copper surfaces will be discussed in terms of electrodeposition and the resulting CO2 electroreduction performance. In furfural ECH, both 2-methyl furan and furfuryl alcohol can be formed, while over many other metals 2-methyl furan is not formed. The reaction conditions for furfural ECH si

Hosted by: Sanjaya Senanayake

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