Modeling the Performance of A Flow-Through Gas Diffusion Electrode for Electrochemical Reduction of CO or CO2

Yikai Chen, Nathan S. Lewis, Chengxiang Xiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A flow-through gas diffusion electrode (GDE) consisting of agglomerate catalysts for CO or CO2 reduction, gas channels for reactants, aqueous electrolytes for ionic transport, and metallic current collectors was simulated and evaluated using a numerical model. The geometric partial current densities and Faradaic Efficiencies (FE) for CH4, C2H4 and H2 generation in GDEs were calculated and compared to the behavior of analogous aqueous-based planar electrodes. The pH-dependent kinetics for CH4 and C2H4 generation were used to represent the intrinsic catalytic characteristics for the agglomerate catalyst. The modeling indicated that relative to planar electrodes for either CO reduction (COR) or CO2 reduction (CO2R), substantial increases in electrochemical reduction rates and Faradaic efficiencies are expected when flow-through GDEs are used. The spatially resolved pH and reaction rates within the flow-through GDEs were also simulated for two different operating pHs, and the resulting transport losses were analyzed quantitatively. For CO2 reduction, substantial loss of CO2 via chemical reaction with the locally alkaline electrolyte was observed due to the increased pH in operating GDEs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114503
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jan 8 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrochemistry
  • Materials Chemistry

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