Syngas production by coelectrolysis of CO 2/H 2O: The basis for a renewable energy cycle

Zhongliang Zhan, Worawarit Kobsiriphat, James R. Wilson, Manoj Pillai, Ilwon Kim, Scott A. Barnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

250 Scopus citations


Electrolysis was carried out at 700-800 °C using solid oxide electrochemical cells with H 2O-CO 2-H 2 mixtures at the Ni-YSZ cathode and air at the LSCF-GDC anode. (YSZ = 8 mol%, Y 2O 3-stabilized ZrO 2, GDC = Ce 0.9Gd 0.1O 1.95, and LSCF = La 0.6Sr 0.4Co 0.2Fe 0.80 3). The cell electrolysis performance decreased only slightly for H 2O-CO 2 mixtures compared to H 2O electrolysis and was much better than for pure CO 2 electrolysis. Mass spectrometer measurements showed increasing consumption of H 2O and CO 2 and production of H 2 and CO with increasing electrolysis current density. Electrolyzers operated on 25% H 2, 25% CO 2, and 50% H 2O at 800 °C and 1.3 V yielded a syngas production rate of ∼7 sccm/cm 2. The use of electrolytically produced syngas for producing renewable liquid fuels is discussed; an energy-storage cycle based on such liquid fuels is CO 2-neutral, similar to hydrogen, and has the potential to be more efficient and easier to implement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3089-3096
Number of pages8
JournalEnergy and Fuels
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 18 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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