Rapid and High Yield Reduction of CO2 to Commercially Valuable Multi Carbon Products

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Rapid and High Yield Reduction of CO2 to

Commercially Valuable Multi Carbon Products


Princeton Docket # 18-3372-1


The laboratory of Prof. Andrew Bocarsly has created a collection of alloy electrodes capable of reducing CO2 to high value multi-carbon products in a fast, efficient, and high yield manner that is industrially attractive for CO2 utilization.


The electrochemical transformation of CO2 to chemical feedstock and energy sources is of importance for a sustainable future. While there is a limited number of potentially pragmatic routes to reduce CO2 to single carbon products, there is almost no industrially relevant route to form multi-carbon products (a single high yield route exists to form ethylene). Almost all other current methods require multiple steps or suffer from low yield. Prof. Bocarsly’s lab has created a collection of alloy electrodes that are capable of rapidly reducing CO2 to multi-carbon (2+) compounds with high yield. As a proof of concept, they have demonstrated the first heterogeneous electrocatalyst system capable of transforming CO2 to oxalate, high value chemical commodity through an energetically efficient pathway (2 e- reduction). The proof-of-concept electrode exhibits high Faradaic efficiency, modest overpotential, good selectivity, stability and thereby demonstrates industrial potential. Design rules have been explored and understood to enable the engineering, optimization, and scale up to a potentially commercially viable product with an industrial partner.



- CO2 utilization

- Fast and high yield conversion of CO2 to high value multi-carbon intermediates (e.g. oxalate)

- Feedstock for glycols



- Environmentally impactful

- Low energy conversion of CO2 to commercially high value intermediates

- Efficient and high speed (1-2 steps)

- High Faradaic efficiency and selectivity

- Good stability

- Design rules understood and ready for scale up, engineering, and optimization.




Paris, A. R., and Bocarsly, A.B. Ni-Al Films on Glassy Carbon Electrodes Generate an Array of Oxygenated Organics from CO2. ACS Catalysis, 2017, 6815-6820. Doi: 10.1021/acscatal.7b02146.


Torelli et al. Nickel-Gallium-Catalyzed Electrochemical Reduction of CO2 to Highly Reduced Products at Low Overpotentials. ACS Catalysis, 2016, 2100-2104. Doi: 10.1021/acscatal.5b02888.


Paris et al. Tuning the Products of CO2 Electroreduction on a Ni3Ga Catalyst Using Carbon Solid Supports. J. Electrochem. Soc. 2018 volume 165, issue 7, H385-H392. doi: 10.1149/2.0791807jes


Intellectual Property & Development Status


Patent protection is pending. Proof of concept electrode demonstrated rapid reduction to oxalate with at least 60% Faradaic efficiency which has potential to be engineered to achieve higher and industrially relevant efficiency. Design rules have been investigated to support the scale up, optimization, and other engineering efforts required to enable a commercially viable electrode and process. Prof. Bocarsly is seeking industrial partner to enable the commercialization of this technology.


The Inventors:


Andrew Bocarsly is a Professor of Chemistry. Dr. Bocarsly's research interests lie in the general field of materials chemistry, with emphasis on the chemistry of excited state and charge transfer processes and the chemistry of surfaces. These interests have resulted in his research focusing on electrochemistry, photochemistry, solid state chemistry, and fuel cells. There are three active projects (CO2 Reduction, Fuel Cells, and Cyanogels) on which graduate and undergraduate students currently work.


Aubrey Paris is a NSF Graduate Research Fellow and third-year graduate student in the Bocarsly Lab studying metallic alloys as electrochemical carbon dioxide reduction catalysts. At the intersection of inorganic, materials, and electrochemistry, her current work involves the synthesis, characterization, and electrochemical optimization of thin film alloys containing nickel and group 13 metals. Aubrey was selected as a Princeton Energy and Climate Scholar during her first year of graduate study, and she continues to serve as a Senior Fellow of the Institute on Science for Global Policy (ISGP), a science policy think-tank based out of Washington, D.C. She is also a co-host, writer, and manager of ISGP’s “The Forum,” a biweekly audio podcast played in over 85 countries discussing science-and-society topics such as climate change, GMOs, disease surveillance, and STEM education.


Sonja Francis is a Lecturer in Chemistry and An Chu is a recent graduate of Princeton University.




Linda Jan

Princeton University • Office of Technology Licensing • (609) 258-3653 • ljan@princeton.edu

Laurie Tzodikov

Princeton University • Office of Technology Licensing • (609) 258-7256 • tzodikov@princeton.edu





Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Cortney Cavanaugh
New Ventures and licensing associate
Princeton University
Aubrey Paris
Sonja Francis
An Chu
Andrew Bocarsly