Low rate production pilot line for CO2 electroreduction Membrane Electrode Assembly fabrication
Design, build and validate a Low Rate Initial Production pilot line for the manufacture of innovative membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) that convert carbon dioxide emissions into valuable carbon compounds using renewable electricity as input.
In 2022, facilities expansion have been completed and preparation for the LRIP pilot line are ongoing. The prototype fabrication unit has been validated, demonstrating equal performance to baseline fabrication capabilities at significantly improved throughputs. Process modifications for LRIP operation are under investigation. The specifications for the LRIP pilot line have been fully defined; this system has been designed and is currently being built. New hires for validating and operating the pilot line have been onboarded.
Work in 2023 will target the following milestones: (1) build an LRIP pilot line capable of producing 2-5 times the current capacity of producing electrode active area, (2) validate manufacturability of the new LRIP line, (3) build a manufacturing workforce with the identified skillsets necessary to operate the new pilot line, and (4) fine tune pilot line operating procedures for high throughput and good process quality control. The recipient expects milestone (4) to comprise the bulk of the work of 2023.
The purpose of this project is to design, build, and validate a Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) pilot line for the manufacture of innovative membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) that use carbon dioxide emissions as feedstock to produce valuable carbon compounds with the input of renewable electricity. The MEAs provide a technological pathway to electrify and decarbonize the production of chemical and industrial products, and improve the marginal value of new solar PV generation by enabling on-demand production of these materials during times of potential overgeneration.
A high efficiency CO2 electrolyzer could take excess electricity during times of overgeneration and convert it into valuable products and fuels (e.g., jet fuel, clean diesel).
The Recipient’s technology could also increase public safety by improving air quality. CO2-derived liquid fuels, such as jet fuel, would have significantly lower sulfur content and burn cleaner than petroleum-derived diesel.
CO2 electrolysis can load follow, ramping up or down in seconds, and provide greater stability in the grid. The CO2 electrolysis systems would be a reliable offtake for surplus electricity.
CO2 electrolysis would increase safety by significantly reducing CO2 emissions, thereby reducing the impact of climate change, which translates into lower risks of fire and flooding, among others.
Key Project Members
United States Department of Energy
Opus 12 Incorporated