Design of a Vacuum-Assisted Product Removal, Ionic Liquid-based, Carbon Dioxide Electrolyzer



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48th International Conference on Environmental Systems


The design of a device and the supporting experimental apparatus are presented for a novel flow cell electrolyzer used to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) into relatively pure and separate product streams of carbon monoxide (CO) and oxygen (O2) in an overall water-neutral reaction. The electrolyzer uses an aqueous ionic liquid (IL) solution as the CO2 solvent, electrolyte, and co-catalyst and a porous, hydrophobic, catalyst-coated gas diffusion electrode as the cathode. The IL is a non-toxic and non-volatile component demonstrated to be thermally and chemically stable, all of which are advantageous properties for its use in a spacecraft environment. The configuration of the flow cell electrolyzer is novel in that it eliminates any need for a separate gas-liquid separation system to separate gaseous products from the liquid electrolyte. The plans for upcoming tests and current progress on testing this design are described.


Jordan Holquist, University of Colorado Boulder
James Nabity, University of Colorado Boulder
David Klaus, University of Colorado Boulder
Morgan Abney, NASA
ICES308: Advanced Technologies for In-Situ Resource Utilization
The 48th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA on 08 July 2018 through 12 July 2018.


ionic liquids, air revitalization, in-situ resource utilization, life support