Electrochemical CO2 reduction to value-added products

Electrochemical CO2 reduction to value-added products

Project Summary:

Converting greenhouse gas CO2 into fuels and value-added chemicals is a promising way for decarbonization and clean energy transition. Electrochemical CO2 reduction, in particular, has attracted large interest as it could use renewable power sources to drive the conversion reactions, representing a sustainable way of electrifying the fuel production. This project will focus on developing highly efficient catalyst for the electrochemical CO2 reduction to produce value-added products at both laboratory and practical scales. The catalyst development will be based on our previous breakthroughs (Adv. Funct. Mater. 30, 1910118 (2020); ACS Catal. 12, 4792 (2022)) to convert CO2 into liquid and/or C2+ products such as formate, ethanol and n-propanol. In-situ characterizations such as in-situ synchrotron XAS and in-situ synchrotron Powder Diffraction will be employed to understand the catalyst dynamic evolutions and the underlying reaction mechanisms. New catalysts will also be evaluated in the flow-cell setup to simulate the practical working conditions.


The project will include the following activities:

  • Synthesize copper- or bimetal-based catalysts with controlled structures and electronic states.
  • Improve catalytic activity and/or selectivity of CO2 reduction to value-add products and understand structural evolution and reaction mechanisms using in-situ characterizations.
  • Optimise catalyst performance in flow-cell operation for large scale production.


Copper catalysts with grain boundaries and the promoted reaction pathway to C2+/formate products [ACS Catal. 12, 4792 (2022)].




 Academic Supervisor:

Dr Zhaojun Han

Dr Zhipeng Ma

Professor Rose Amal


Research Environment:

The student will have the opportunity to work in the Particles and Catalysis Research Group (PartCat) at the School of Chemical Engineering and ARC Training Centre for the Global Hydrogen Economy. Student will have access to well-equipped laboratories with comprehensive experimental facilities for photo/electrocatalysis research and will work in a multidisciplinary research environment and learn various functional skills.

The Candidate:
The candidate should have a passion in pursuing research in renewable energy and, due to current international travel restrictions, preferably reside onshore.

Interested to apply?
Please visit the HDR Application page to understand the process and also send your CV, academic transcript and English test result (taken within 2  years) to Dr Zhaojun Han

Scholarship maybe available for suitable candidate.