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GIST team produces butanol from CO2

In Korea, GIST (Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology) School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Engineering Professor Jaeyoung Lee’s research team has generated 1-butanol from CO2 on a phosphorus-rich copper cathode, based on a combination of faradaic and autonomous nonfaradaic reactions. A paper on their work is published in the journal ACS Energy Letters.

The research team used an electrochemical catalyst in which phosphorus (P) is introduced into copper (Cu) metal to control the carbon monoxide adsorbed species (*CO), which is the step of determining the reaction rate in the process of converting carbon dioxide into butanol.

The research team confirmed the faradaic efficiency of butanol formation from carbon dioxide of 3.868%—70 times higher than before. The researchers said they obtained the results by improving the reaction path by increasing the pro-oxygenity of the surface through the copper phosphor (CuP2) catalyst.


  • Minjun Choi, Sungyool Bong, Jin Won Kim, and Jaeyoung Lee (2021) “Formation of 1-Butanol from CO2 without *CO Dimerization on a Phosphorus-Rich Copper Cathode” ACS Energy Letters doi: 10.1021/acsenergylett.1c00723


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