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Pure Appl. Chem., 2001, Vol. 73, No. 12, pp. 1917-1927

Electrochemical approaches to alleviation of the problem of carbon dioxide accumulation

C. M. Sánchez-Sánchez1*, V. Montiel1, D. A. Tryk2, A. Aldaz1 and A. Fujishima2

1 Grupo Electroquímica Aplicada, Departamento de Química Física, Universidad de Alicante, Ap. 99, E-03080, Alicante, Spain
2 Department of Applied Chemistry, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan

Abstract: The electrochemical reduction of CO2, which includes a number of different specific approaches, may show promise as a means to help slow down the accumulation of this greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. Two types of approaches are examined briefly here. First, CO2 can be used as a reagent in the electrocarboxylation reaction to produce organic carboxylic acids, for example, the pharmaceutical ibuprofen. Second, CO2 can be converted to a fuel, either directly or via synthesis gas. The latter can be produced with reasonably good energy efficiency in a gas-diffusion, electrode-based cell even at present with existing electrocatalysts. Oxygen gas is produced as a by-product. Further work is needed to improve the selectivity and efficiency in this and other approaches.