American Chemical Society
ee3c00030_si_001.pdf (2.46 MB)

Electrochemically Facilitated Transport of CO2 between Gas Diffusion Electrodes in Flat and Hollow Fiber Geometries

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-04-24, 14:13 authored by Kyle M. Diederichsen, Stephen J. A. DeWitt, T. Alan Hatton
Electrochemically mediated CO2 separations have drawn increasing attention as a possible route to modular, inexpensive, and low-energy carbon capture technologies. Two-stage electrochemical systems that combine activation with capture and deactivation with CO2 release have the potential to operate close to the thermodynamic minimum for CO2 separations. Cells based on supported liquid membranes between two gas diffusion electrodes are one of few examples that achieve this true two-stage operation. In this work, we demonstrate a multitubular electrochemical separation cell, where planar gas diffusion electrodes are replaced by porous, tubular electrodes. This cell can be designed with an array of anode and cathode tubes placed in varying arrangements and of different sizes, opening a vast design space to match the process chemistry to system design and potentially produce enhanced performance. Thus far, the only published examples of electrochemical membrane separation devices have utilized pH gradients or water splitting to drive their operation, though our group and others have long proposed the use of redox-active organic sorbents in ionic liquids to eliminate solvent loss. To perform our tubular cell demonstration, we first demonstrate at bench scale the continuous separation of CO2 from 15% CO2 in N2 feed, with the release at 100% CO2, utilizing a glyme-modified quinone (NQ-G2) that is infinitely soluble in many ionic liquids. This demonstration also illustrates the need for the design of future redox-active organic sorbents to focus on not just the reduction potential of the sorbent but also the separation from the oxidative wave. Combined, this work illustrates many important routes forward in electrochemically mediated CO2 separations.