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Perovskites oxides for the continuous and/or simultaneous production of energy and/or Dense Energy Carriers


The depletion of fossil-fuels and the increase in the populations concerns about the climate changes stimulate the development of greener and sustainable energy sources. Glycerol is a co-product of the synthesis of biodiesel. The continuous increase in the production of biodiesel have generated a large glycerol surplus, lowering its price dramatically. Polyols like glycerol, can be converted to several value-added products. Thus, this molecule has become an option to feed the anode of an electrolizer where it can be oxidized to one or more products. Besides, the cathode of the device can be feed with water generating high purity hydrogen. CO2 is one of the principal molecules responsible for the climate changes, but it can be also considered as raw material for fuel production through electrochemical reduction. Thus, in place of feeding the anode of the electrolizer with glycerol and the cathode with water, the latter can be substituted by CO2 to produce alcohols and/or hydrocarbons. Several materials have been evaluated as (photo)electrocatalyst for these reactions. The literature shows excellent results for glycerol oxidation and hydrogen formation but mainly in catalyst based on noble metals. On the other hand, even if many materials have been used for CO2 reduction, there is any material able to produce large quantity of products (high currents) and with high selectivity. Thus, it is important to look for materials based on abundant and cheap elements. Perovskite oxides have demonstrated good results for the oxygen evolution reaction emerging as interesting alternatives to noble metals. Hence, this work intends to evaluate the use of perovskite oxides with partial substitution at site A and B as (photo)electrocatalyst for glycerol oxidation and CO2 reduction. Therefore, perovskites oxides will be synthesized, characterized by XRD, TEM, XPS, TGA and ICP and further evaluated by electrochemical methods as electrocatalyst for these reactions. The reaction pathway will be determined by FTIR in situ and online HPLC. Finally, we will select the perovskites with the best performances in conventional electrochemical experiments to be used in microfluidic (photo)electrochemical devices to produce continuously and concomitantly energy and/or several value-added molecules. (AU)

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