Electrolysis with CO2 is a process in which carbon dioxide (CO2) is decomposed using electricity. This process has the potential to contribute to CO2 reduction and the production of useful products such as hydrogen (H2) and carbon monoxide (CO) that can be used as fuels or in chemical processes. Here follows a basic explanation of CO2 electrolysis:
Electrolyte cell: The process requires an electrolyte cell in which CO2 is present as gas or dissolved in a liquid, such as water (H2O). The electrolyte cell contains an anode and a cathode, as well as an electrolyte.
Anode and cathode: The anode is the positive electrode, and the cathode is the negative electrode. They are made of materials that can conduct electricity and withstand corrosion. Typically, materials such as platinum or graphite foam are used.
Electric power source: An external power source, such as a battery or power supply, connects to the anode and cathode to create an electrical circuit.
Electrochemical reaction: When an electric current runs through the electrolyte, an electrochemical reaction occurs at the anode and cathode. At the anode, CO2 molecules are oxidized to carbonate ions (CO3^2-) or carbonic acid (H2CO3), depending on the conditions. At the cathode, water (H2O) is reduced to hydrogen (H2) and possibly also to carbon monoxide (CO), depending on the process.