Im working on calculation which involve the energy efficiency of producing formate by CO2 electroreduction.

I wonder how to convert the reported cathodic energy efficiency (71%) of papers e.g (1) this paper or (2) this paper into an overall energy efficiency.

I want to assume that water is oxidized at an anode. If needed we can plug in an assumed efficiency for the anode reaction.

I am relatively new to electrochemistry, and trying to learn so forgive me if this is trivial, but I can barely find the term "cathodic energy efficiency" online for me to learn this.

Paper 1

Paper 2

  • $\begingroup$ If the efficiency is not $100$%, it means that the rest of the electric energy is lost in heat by the Joule effect. $\endgroup$
    – Maurice
    Mar 22, 2021 at 16:01
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thank you. Is there a way to estimate what is the loss of energy on the anode side for these kind of papers? $\endgroup$
    – dlight
    Mar 22, 2021 at 16:20
  • $\begingroup$ @Maurice I think the <100% cathode energy efficiency they report of producing the desired product (formate) is also result of the competing HER reaction, and not just heat. $\endgroup$
    – dlight
    Mar 22, 2021 at 16:51
  • $\begingroup$ You may be right, after all. Why not ? $\endgroup$
    – Maurice
    Mar 22, 2021 at 17:54


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