Electrochemical Manufacturing Routes for Organic Chemical Commodities

Ricardo Mathison, Alexandra L. Ramos Figueroa, Casey Bloomquist, Miguel A. Modestino

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Electrochemical synthesis of organic chemical commodities provides an alternative to conventional thermochemical manufacturing and enables the direct use of renewable electricity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the chemical industry. We discuss electrochemical synthesis approaches that use abundant carbon feedstocks for the production of the largest petrochemical precursors and basic organic chemical products: light olefins, olefin oxidation derivatives, aromatics, and methanol. First, we identify feasible routes for the electrochemical production of each commodity while considering the reaction thermodynamics, available feedstocks, and competing thermochemical processes. Next, we summarize successful catalysis and reaction engineering approaches to overcome technological challenges that prevent electrochemical routes from operating at high production rates, selectivity, stability, and energy conversion efficiency. Finally, we provide an outlook on the strategies that must be implemented to achieve large-scale electrochemical manufacturing of major organic chemical commodities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-108
Number of pages24
JournalAnnual Review of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
StatePublished - Jun 8 2023


  • chemical manufacturing
  • decarbonization
  • electrification
  • electrochemistry
  • organic electrosynthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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