KY EPSCoR: Heteroatom-Doped and Metallic Nanoparticle-Attached Carbon Based Electrocatalysts for Efficient, Selective, and Stable Electrochemical Reduction of CO2 into Fuels for Fuel Cells Towards NASA Mars Mission

Grants and Contracts Details


Heteroatom-doped and metallic nanoparticle-attached carbon based electrocatalysts for efficient, selective, and stable electrochemical reduction of CO2 into fuels for fuel cells towards NASA Mars mission The space mission of NASA to explore Mars will require sufficient amounts of fuel and oxygen for the exploration of Mars and the return of samples or humans back to Earth. For this, it is essential to enable the in-situ synthesis of fuel and oxygen using the resources abundant on Mars. The objective of this project is to develop efficient and selective electrocatalysts to convert CO2 into fuels. The fuels generated will be fed into fuel cells to generate electricity. If successful, the knowledge gained through this project will pave the way for the efficient and economic production of fuels and also oxygen from CO2 reactants which are abundant in Mars. In this proposal, we will explore carbon nanomaterials where heteroatoms and metal nanoparticles are incorporated to create catalytically active sites. The active sites are expected to create asymmetric dipoles on the surface of carbon electrode and to facilitate the adsorption of CO2 reactants, lowing the kinetic barrier of CO2 reduction pathway. The control of surface chemical structure, hteteroatom dopants, and metal nanoparticle attachments will promote the sensitivity, and selectivity of electrochemical reduction while maintaining its long-term stability. Through controlled syntheses, structure analyses, and electrochemical characterizations, fundamental knowledge on structure-activity-performance relations on the electrochemical reduction of CO2 will be achieved. The electrochemical reduction of CO2 will be performed in aqueous electrolyte as well as non-aqueous ion-liquid electrolyte.
Effective start/end date7/1/196/30/20


  • KY Economic Development Cab


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