13 January 2022
Sanjana Chandrashekar from Technische Universiteit Delft is one of our first PhD candidates who started in 2017.
Energy storage and conversion, specifically in the field of electrochemical CO2 reduction, has been transitioning to more industrially relevant scales in the past few years.
What would this mean for the catalysts you work with? Will behave in industrial settings the same way they behaved in your lab?
In Sanjana’s recent work, in collaboration with Shell, she looked into testing the promising AgPd catalysts for CO2 reduction in Membrane Electrode Assemblies at industrially relevant scales. And while this is the right direction to take, it appears that there is a lot we still need to learn about the scaling of the electrochemical reduction of CO2.
Highlighting the problem: A membrane electrode assembly (MEA) electrolyzer is used to study one of the most promising silver alloy catalysts for CO2 reduction, AgPd, at higher current densities than previously assessed. Compositionally variant thin films are deposited by magnetron sputtering onto GDEs and used as catalysts and tested at current densities up to 200 mA/cm2.The catalytic activity is found to be significantly different compared to activity reported in low current density configurations, showing the importance of screening catalysts at industrially relevant current densities and the need to bridge fundamental and applied studies of catalysts. CO selectivity is lost with increasing the Pd ratio, and is suspected to be due to the architecture of the MEA cell, emphasizing the need for catalyst design and testing at high current densities with various cell architectures.