PerspectiveEnergy Storage

Chemical storage of renewable energy

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  18 May 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6390, pp. 707-708
DOI: 10.1126/science.aat7918

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


The conversion of carbon dioxide (CO2) into fuels and chemicals using renewable energy is a potential pathway to mitigate increasing CO2 concentration in the atmosphere and acidification of the oceans (1). In a process that is essentially the reverse of combustion and is analogous to photosynthesis, CO2 can be electrochemically reduced to hydrocarbons by using renewable power sources such as wind and solar (2). This process would not compete with direct use of renewable energy as electricity, as the objective is to store excess energy for later use. On page 783 of this issue, Dinh et al. (3) show that ethylene can be generated selectively via electrochemical CO2 reduction at rates that could yield a technologically feasible process.