The process of producing synthetic fuels from CO2 is not a simple task. It involves complex chemical reactions that can result in multiple products, making it difficult to achieve efficient and economically viable outcomes. However, researchers at Empa and the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) have been working tirelessly to overcome these challenges and find innovative solutions.

The Joint Initiative SynFuels project has led to the development of a groundbreaking system that allows researchers to investigate up to 10 different reaction conditions simultaneously. This system consists of 10 “reactors” equipped with catalysts and electrodes, connected to various instruments via hundreds of meters of tubing. This innovative approach not only accelerates the research process but also yields high-quality datasets that can lead to accelerated discoveries.

In collaboration with Agilent Technologies, Empa researchers co-developed the world’s first online liquid chromatography device to identify and quantify liquid reaction products in real time during CO2 electrolysis. This collaboration highlights the importance of partnerships in driving scientific advancements. Additionally, the researchers have developed a software solution to analyze the vast amount of data generated by the experiments, which they are sharing with the scientific community on an open-source basis.

Standardized Data Sharing and Knowledge Exchange

The PREMISE research project, a joint effort between Empa, PSI, and ETH Zurich, aims to create standardized methods for storing and sharing research data. This initiative emphasizes the importance of open access to data in driving scientific progress and fostering collaboration among researchers. By making research data available to other institutions, the researchers hope to spark new insights and discoveries in the field of synthetic fuels and sustainable chemistry.

The new parallel CO2 electrolysis system developed by Empa researchers is set to play a crucial role in the second phase of the National Center of Competence in Research NCCR Catalysis. By sharing both data and know-how with other Swiss research institutions, the researchers aim to further advance the field of synthetic fuels and sustainable chemistry. Through continued refinement of hardware and software, Empa researchers are committed to pushing the boundaries of scientific discovery and driving innovation in the production of synthetic fuels.

The research conducted by Empa and PSI represents a significant step forward in the field of synthetic fuels. By leveraging advanced technology, fostering collaboration, and promoting open access to data, researchers are accelerating discoveries and paving the way for a more sustainable future. The innovative approaches and groundbreaking solutions developed through projects like SynFuels and PREMISE are shaping the future of synthetic fuel production and sustainable energy sources.

Chemistry

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