C2017-03 – Efficient Electrochemical Conversoin of Gases to More Commercially Useful Products

Technology # 17-03 Conversion of Gases to Commercially Useful Products Converting gases such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen or methane to more desirable chemicals generally requires high-temperature, high-pressure chemical reactions, which are expensive. An electrochemical approach is attractive because it allows the gases to be directly converted to the desired products with less expenditure of energy or improved selectivity, and has the added advantage of providing the ability to tune the structure and chemistry of the catalysts to further increase the production rate of a specific desired chemical. Unfortunately the prospect of adapting promising chemical catalysts to electrochemical reactions is complicated and limited at best. Gas-phase electrochemistry suffers from poor conductivity and mass transport between the working and counter electrodes, resulting in highly inefficient processes carried out at high biases, which is expensive. On the other hand, liquid-phase reactions are limited by the presence of the supporting electrolyte which causes the electrochemical process to be dominated by unwanted reactions involving the liquid rather than the intended gas-phase reaction. For example, electrochemical reactions in contact with water will produce more cracking of the water into hydrogen and oxygen than the conversion of the gas into the intended product. The invention is available for licensing. For interested parties seeking further information, feel free to contact: Mark Allen Lanoue Technology Manager / Tech Ventures University of Arkansas (479) 575-7243 malanoue@uark.edu Technology Ventures ventures@uark.edu 479-575-7243

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