AN ELECTROCHEMICAL CARBON DIOXIDE REDUCTION - OXYGEN GENERATION SYSTEM HAVING ONLY LIQUID WASTE PRODUCTS
Final rept. May 1967-Mar 1968 on phase 2
IONICS INC WATERTOWN MA
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The electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide has been investigated as a means of simplifying the disposal of carbon dioxide and hydrogen from a submarine atmospheric regeneration unit. Ejection of these materials as organic liquid wastes is preferable to the compression and gas phase discharge systems in current use. This investigation comprises phase II of the problem of developing an electrochemical cell to accomplish the desired reduction reactions. Conceptually, the cell consists of an anode at which water is electrolyzed to oxygen, a cathode at which carbon dioxide is reduced, and an electrolyte path between the two. A two stage reduction is required to balance the system metabolically consisting of the following general progression Co2 yields HCOOH yields HCHO or CH3OH. Four cathode materials were found to catalyze the CO2 reduction. They are mercury, gallium, indium and the quaternary alloy Cerrolow 136. The latter material is most effective when used in the liquid phase. The reduction of HCOOH is accomplished to a limited degree on tin or Cerrolow 136.
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