PhD defense Akansha Goyal


Reducing CO2 ánd storing renewable energy?!

One of the major problems regarding the energy transition is that renewable energy sources are irregular in their energy supply; sometimes it is produced in large amounts, while very little is produced at other times. The mismatch between the irregular energy supply and the steady energy demand is called the intermittency problem. To adopt renewable energy effectively, it is important to find a way to store it in so-called energy carriers. What if we can find such an energy carrier, and even use CO2 from the atmosphere to produce it?

The process of turning CO2 into energy carriers is called electrochemical reduction. In this reduction, CO2 is converted into hydrocarbon fuels similar to e.g. petrol. This research focused on the challenges that come forward in the electrochemical reduction. Currently, this reduction is not economically viable and has a low energy efficiency, meaning that a lot of energy is lost in the process. This is partly due to other, unwanted reactions using the energy that is meant for the electrochemical reduction. This research focused on optimizing the process by eliminating these unwanted reactions, reducing its costs, and thus bringing the use of CO2 as feedstock for energy carriers closer to reality.

On March 31st PhD candidate Akansha Goyal from Leiden University will defend her thesis.

Akansha’s publications: https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/staffmembers/akansha-goyal/publications#tab-3

Photo by Eric de Vries http://www.ericdevries.com/