Electrocatalytic CO2 reduction to C2H4: From lab to fab

Zeyu Guo, Fabao Yang, Xiaotong Li, Huiwen Zhu, Hainam Do, Kam Loon Fow, Jonathan D. Hirst, Tao Wu, Qiulin Ye, Yaqi Peng, Hao Bin Wu, Angjian Wu, Mengxia Xu

Research output: Journal PublicationReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The global concerns of energy crisis and climate change, primarily caused by carbon dioxide (CO2), are of utmost importance. Recently, the electrocatalytic CO2 reduction reaction (CO2RR) to high value-added multi-carbon (C2+) products driven by renewable electricity has emerged as a highly promising solution to alleviate energy shortages and achieve carbon neutrality. Among these C2+ products, ethylene (C2H4) holds particular importance in the petrochemical industry. Accordingly, this review aims to establish a connection between the fundamentals of electrocatalytic CO2 reduction reaction to ethylene (CO2RR-to-C2H4) in laboratory-scale research (lab) and its potential applications in industrial-level fabrication (fab). The review begins by summarizing the fundamental aspects, including the design strategies of high-performance Cu-based electrocatalysts and advanced electrolyzer devices. Subsequently, innovative and value-added techniques are presented to address the inherent challenges encountered during the implementations of CO2RR-to-C2H4 in industrial scenarios. Additionally, case studies of the techno-economic analysis of the CO2RR-to-C2H4 process are discussed, taking into factors such as cost-effectiveness, scalability, and market potential. The review concludes by outlining the perspectives and challenges associated with scaling up the CO2RR-to-C2H4 process. The insights presented in this review are expected to make a valuable contribution in advancing the CO2RR-to-C2H4 process from lab to fab.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)540-564
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Energy Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024


  • CO electroreduction reaction
  • Density functional theory
  • Ethylene
  • Gas diffusion electrode
  • Machine learning
  • Techno-economic analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Electrochemistry


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