Authors: Rovira-Alsina, Laura; Dolors Balaguer M.; Puig, Sebastià

Transition roadmap for thermophilic carbon dioxide microbial electrosynthesis: Testing with real exhaust gases and operational control for a scalable design

Human activities release more carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere than the natural process can remove. This study attempts to address the main challenges for the thermophilic (50 °C) bioelectrochemical conversion of CO2 into acetate. First, real gaseous emissions were tested with mixed microbial consortia, which had no substantial influence on production rates (difference of 2.5%). Subsequently, a bench-scale system (TRL 4–5) was designed and launched to control key operational variables. Fixing the current at 1.3 A m−2, CO2 was reduced at a rate of 2.21 kg CO2 kg−1 acetate, while the electricity consumption was 2.07 kWh kg−1, the most efficient value so far. The results suggest that the operation with real effluents is feasible and the proposed design is energy efficient, but the right balance between maximising current densities without compromising the biocompatibility with catalysts will determine the transition from laboratory scale towards its implementation in the market.

Authors:Rovira-Alsina, Laura; Dolors Balaguer M.; Puig, Sebastià
Reference:Bioresource Technology, Open Access, Volume 365, December 2022, Article number 128161