Carbon dioxide reduction includes bonding CO.sub.2 with an activator so as to form an activated intermediate. An electrical potential is applied to the intermediate so as to cause reduction of the CO.sub.2 in the intermediate. The CO.sub.2 reduction generates an organic fuel and releases the activator from the intermediate. The use of the intermediate suppresses H+ reduction reactions that compete with generation of the desired fuel.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
 This invention was made with government support under DE-SC0004993/T-106808 awarded by the Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.