UCLA researchers on track to develop pathway to convert carbon dioxide into ethylene

September 21, 2020

A research team from the UCLA Samuel School of Engineering and Caltech has published new findings in Nature Catalyst about the development of a promising method to efficiently convert carbon dioxide into ethylene, a chemical used in the production of cosmetics, plastics, solvents and a myriad of other products used globally.

“We are at the brink of fossil fuel exhaustion, coupled with global climate change challenges,” said Yu Huang, the study’s co-author and a professor of materials science and engineering at UCLA. “Developing materials that can effectively turn greenhouse gases into value-added fuel and chemical feedstocks is a critical step to mitigate global warming while turning away from extracting increasingly limited fossil fuels.”

Illustration of the ElectroCatalysis system which synthesized the smooth nanowire and then activated it by applying a voltage to get the rough stepped surface that is highly selective for CO2 reduction to ethylene.
Credit: Huang and Goddard

Read more in UCLA Samueli Newsroom.

Study authors:

Jin Cai, UCLA Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Tao Cheng, Jiangsu Key Laboratory Institute of Functional Nano & Soft Materials, postdoc, Caltech Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science

Chungseok Choi, UCLA Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Xiangfeng Duan, UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

William A. Goddard III, Caltech Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science

Yu Huang, UCLA Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Soonho Kwon, Caltech Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science

Changsoo Lee, UCLA Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Hyuck Mo Lee, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Xiaoqing Pan, UC Irvine Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Department of Physics and Astronomy and Irvine Materials Research Institute,

Peter Tieu, UC Irvine Department of Chemistry

Mingjie Xu, UC Irvine Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Irvine Materials Research Institute, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Fok Ying Tung Research Institute

Additional coverage:

Effective pathway to convert CO2 into ethylene. Science Daily. September 17, 2020