TotalEnergies and Veolia partner to develop CO2-based microalgae cultivation to produce next-generation biofuels
ORNL team develops modeling tool to help plan timing and location of EV chargers along interstates

Gwangju team develops process for direct generation of 1-butanol from CO2

A team of researchers from the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea has developed a process that directly generates 1-butanol from CO2 via the electrochemical reduction reaction (CO2RR) with the help of copper phosphide (CuP2) without first undergoing CO dimerization. A paper on their work is published in the journal ACS Energy Letters.


Source: Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology

We are trying to develop a Cu-based electrode for electrochemical conversion of CO2 that avoids *CO dimerization and can help us increase the selectivity of the product so that additional power consumption from separation processes can be avoided.

—Minjun Choi, first author

Even though numerous copper-based electrocatalysts exist today, this is among the first instances in which CuP2 has been used to develop an electrocatalyst that is highly product-selective. It induces a C-C coupling reaction and circumvents the formation of CO, which is known to be a critical intermediate for Cu-based systems.

The researchers confirmed this by using surface-enhanced infrared absorption spectroscopy to show that their CuP2 electrocatalyst yielded the desired product, 1-butanol, with a Faradaic efficiency of 3.868%.

Our goal is to design new electrodes that are stackable, that can increase production rates, and that can promote conversion efficiency so that we can make our goal of converting and using CO2 as a fuel in reality.

—Professor Jaeyoung Lee


  • 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 6 (6), 2090-2095 doi: 10.1021/acsenergylett.1c00723



"with a Faradaic efficiency of 3.868%"??? I hope that it was of educational value but is seems a long way from being a commercial venture. I think that GEVO has a much better prospect for producing isobutanol from the fermentation of corn.

The comments to this entry are closed.