The development of a comprehensive renewable energy industrial chain becomes urgent since renewable energy will soon dominate the power generation. Among the industries, carbon dioxide reduction reaction (CO2RR), which uses energy to convert carbon dioxide into high-value products and reduce CO2 in the atmosphere, is regarded as a promising and potential industrial application. The conventional H-type reactor shows limited catalytic activity toward CO2RR, leading to the incompatible combination with the massive renewable energy. The flow systems – flow-cell reactor and the membrane electrode assemblies – show the promising selectivity and activities of CO2RR products, meeting the criteria for industrial mass production. In this Perspective, I start by comparing the market price and annual global production of major CO2RR products with the necessary costs using technoeconomic analysis for industrial utilization. Subsequently, I systematically summarize the catalytic performances of the same copper catalyst in these reactors for CO2RR and discuss the possibility of industrialization. Owing to the distinctive catalytic behaviors in flow systems, I finally present prospects to investigate the catalytic mechanisms by developing various in-situ techniques in these flow systems to speed up the renewable energy industry.
- CO reduction reaction
- Diamond Jubilee Issue
- Flow cell
- Membrane electrode assemblies
- Technoeconomic analysis