Mechanistic Insights Into Selective CO2-to-Fuels Catalysis, Yogi Surendranath (MIT, Department of Chemistry)

The widespread utilization of renewable energy will require energy dense and cost-effective methods for storage. This challenge could be met by using renewable electricity to drive the reduction of carbon dioxide to energy dense carbonaceous fuels. However, many fuels are accessible over a narrow range in electrochemical potential, requiring a detailed mechanistic understanding of the key factors that control kinetic branching in these reactions. By combining electrochemical kinetic studies and in situ spectroscopies, we have uncovered key factors that control reaction selectivity and have applied this understanding to systematically tune product distributions in CO2-to-fuels catalysis. Our latest findings in this area will be discussed.