Liquid Light announced highlights from a recent paper, “Photons to formate: Efficient electrochemical solar energy conversion via reduction of carbon dioxide,” in the peer-reviewed Journal of CO2 Utilization, which provides further validation for key aspects of Liquid Light’s technology. The paper details the results of experiments based on Liquid Light’s technology by a team affiliated with the Department of Chemistry at Princeton University. While focused on the efficient conversion of carbon dioxide (CO2) to fuel using sunlight, the paper also validates multiple aspects of Liquid Light’s technology, including the following.
• High process efficiency: Results were as much as nine times better than the best previously reported results by industry or research labs for converting solar energy to formate (i.e., the anion derived from formic acid), according to the company. The conversion efficiency was about twice as high as natural photosynthesis, which has been the benchmark for converting sunlight to target chemicals. The portion of the experiment that measured cell efficiency also supported the high expected efficiency for electro-catalytic conversion of CO2 to other chemicals, such as ethylene glycol, using Liquid Light’s technology, according to the company.
• Efficient use of an intermittent, renewable source of energy: The team used a standard solar panel to power the set of electro-catalytic reaction cells. The project confirmed that renewable power, in this case solar, worked as a power source and that the intermittent, sometimes unpredictable nature of renewable sources did not negatively impact process efficiency.
• Ability to adjust catalysts to make varying target chemicals: This project used Liquid Light catalysts and reactors (cells) designed specifically to produce formates (rather than, for example, the company’s first commercial target of ethylene glycol, produced via an oxalic acid intermediate). This confirmed that Liquid Light’s underlying technology could produce compelling results across more than one target chemical, according to the company.