Global infrastructures have been heavily reliant on carbon-based fuels since the dawn of the industrial revolution in the 19th century. However, a consequence has been a large influx of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, which has been the primary contributor to climate change: resulting in global warming, disastrous wildfires, polar ice cap melting, and ocean acidification.
Unfortunately, renewables are transient, and it is not practical for us to only generate electricity when it is windy or when it is sunny. A current approach is to store this energy to be used later, but current battery technology is unable to effectively store the energy from these transient sources. The approach I take in my research is that I use electricity to power my chemistry so that I can store energy in the form of chemical bonds. Using electricity, potentially from renewables, I can perform electrocatalysis to reduce CO2 to value added products, which would close the CO2 cycle, and make society carbon neutral.