Lowering Carbon Footprint Through Improved Ion Exchange Membranes

Back in 2009, the United States Department of Energy held a challenge intended to find high-quality catalysts for the electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide. Dioxide Materials was born out of that challenge when employees of theorized that lowering the overpotential for this purpose could be done using an ionic liquid in tandem with a metal.

Dioxide Materials theory and patented solution to use a co-catalyst to lower energy barrier turned out to be true and as a result, the company has grown by leaps and bounds since. In the past, the challenge for electrochemical reduction of CO2 was a high overpotential due to the formation of intermediate species which resulted in low selectivity due to the side reactions. Dioxide Materials’ breakthrough:

Combined ionic liquid with Ag metal
Lowered the overpotential to 0.17V
Suppressed side reactions
Improved the selectivity to 98%

Dioxide Materials

Our number one goal has been and continues to be making changes through the development of sustainable technology that can help save the world. We are working to develop solutions for sustainable technology that will enable industries to lower the carbon footprint throughout the world. This is done by converting carbon dioxide and combining it with water and renewable energy to produce syngas. This has the possibility of greatly reducing carbon dioxide emissions by turning it into a feed stock for renewable fuels and chemicals.
It is also expected that this technology has the potential to lower the amount of renewable energy that is not used on the grid. This is important as California alone was projected to have at least 8,000 MW of curtailed renewable energy. Through electrolysis, hydrogen can be produced, compressed, stored and used later during periods of higher energy requirements. Once Dioxide has reached scale, this energy can be leveragedto allow a growth in renewable energy without causing any destabilization to the grid.

Changing the Face of Renewable Energy

In terms of ion exchange membranes, over time it was determined that ionic liquids caused too much corrosion in electrolyzers for carbon dioxide. To resolve this issue, a switch was made from ionic liquid catalysts to catalytic anion exchange polymers. After extensive testing, it was found that an imidazolium functionalized styrene polymer had the performance needed. This led to the invention of Sustanion® anion exchange membranes.
Our membranes and other work has been highlighted in dozens of news sources, including Scientific American, Science, and Cankao Xiaoxi. The discovery has also been lauded as “One of the Most Important Scientific Papers of the Year.”

The Dioxide Materials Difference

Dioxide Materials provides Alkaline Ion Exchange Membranes, Alkaline Ionomers, Water and Carbon Dioxide Electrolyzers and the necessary components required for operations Our products offer superior performance and quality that cannot be met by other membrane providers. You can learn more about our products by visiting our website.

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