Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Chemical and Biological Engineering

First Advisor

Andrew C. Hillier


The initial target was to develop an electrocatalyst for electrochemical reduction of CO2 to selectively produce ethylene. An in-situ mass spectrometric technique namely Differential Electrochemical Mass Spectrometry (DEMS) was used for the study. Majority time was spent on CO2 reduction. Various strategies have been explored including alloy catalysts, modified Cu electrodes, increasing CO2 solubility using monoethanolamine solutions, ionic liquids to bypass the high activation energy requiring pathway and using guanidinium salts to stabilize intermediates. During the CO2 reduction project, certain limitations were felt using the DEMS technique which includes no control of/ low CO2 supply to electrocatalyst and inability to detect non-volatile products like formic acid. So in the thesis project "Development of DEMS technique for electrocatalysis studies", the identified limitations of DEMS technique were eliminated to fulfill the CO2 reduction experiment requirements. An enhanced version of DEMS was developed by integrating capabilities of enhancement and control of reactant supply to the electrocatalyst by using an impinging jet and detection of non-volatile products produced using an additional electrochemical ring detector.


Copyright Owner

Subramanian Venkatachalam



File Format


File Size

143 pages