Electrocatalytic synthesis of ethylene oxide from CO2

Dr. Jānis Kleperis (ISSP UL) speaks at the scientific workshop of ISSP UL Doctoral School “Functional Materials and Nanotechnologies”.

The aim of the CO2EXIDE project is to develop an electrolysis device for producing ethylene oxide from biologically produced CO2 - the cathode reduces carbon dioxide to ethylene and the anode oxidizes oxygen to H2O2. Further, both intermediates are chemically converted to ethylene oxide and, through cascade reactions, produce oligo- / polyethylene glycol, a starting material for the production of plastics.

The role of ISSP UL in the project:

  1. An alternative cathode structure based on recycled graphite multi-layer graphene sheets in which a catalyst (copper) for the electrocatalytic reduction of CO2 to ethylene is introduced;
  2. Theoretical calculations have been made from the first principle graphene modified with copper atom clusters to determine at what potential the CO2 conversion to ethylene is the most effective on electrode;
  3. An in-situ electrochemical cell constructed for the control of reaction products for FTIR spectrometer;
  4. SPEEK polymer composites with zirconium oxide nanoparticles and ionic liquid derived from imidazolium compounds are developed to form a membrane compatible with catalyst materials and stimulate CO2 absorption on electrode.