The US Department of Energy has awarded RenewCO₂ a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant to develop novel electrolyzers for the electrochemical conversion of carbon dioxide into mono-ethylene glycol (MEG). RenewCO2 is a spin-out from the Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey where the founders developed the proprietary technology on which this project is based in Professor Dismukes' laboratory. The grant focuses on advancing critical milestones for operating of CO2 electrolyzers at industrially relevant conditions.
The proprietary process has the potential of mitigating climate change by providing a cost-competitive pathway to produce a bulk chemical from CO2 waste streams of power plants, bio-refineries, and several other chemical industries. The product - mono-ethylene glycol - is one of the two primary constituents of poly-ethylene terephthalate (PET), a transparent plastic used to make beverage bottles, food containers, and polyester textiles. MEG is also widely used as a heat transfer fluid in the automobile industry. As a direct substitute to conventional MEG from petrochemical sources, this new MEG process will have negative carbon emissions overall.
See all the DOE SBIR Phase I recipients here: https://science.osti.gov/sbir/Awards