Chapter 9: Photocatalytic CO2 conversion to fuels by novel green photocatalytic materials

W. A. Maza, Amanda J. Morris, Guido Mul

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


In this chapter the necessity of solar energy storage is explained first, followed by a calculation of the photocatalytic rates necessary for practical application of artificial photosynthesis systems to achieve effective solar energy storage. Next, we introduce TiO2 as an active CO2 and H2O conversion photocatalyst, including the current understanding of CO2 sorption modes, and mechanistic details of the conversion of H2O and CO2 to hydrocarbons. Subsequently, various modifications of TiO2 are described that enhance photocatalytic performance, with the focus on earth-abundant elements, including copper, iron, and nickel, in the form of metal or metal oxide nanoparticles and composites. Next, the creation of isolated Ti sites in mesoporous silica framework materials is discussed, followed by a description of the mechanism of CO2 conversion to hydrocarbons in these materials. Several attempts to create visible light-sensitive MMCT binuclear sites are also addressed. For effective CO2 reduction, water oxidation activity is essential. We will discuss some issues related to methodology to determine water oxidation efficacy, and discuss the mechanism of activity of IrOx and CoOx sites when present in mesoporous silica-based materials. Some attention is also paid to the prevention of the reverse reaction (hydrocarbons and oxygen to form CO2 and water), which would significantly decrease conversion efficiency. We conclude the overview of TiO2-based systems by discussing composites with graphene and metal organic framework materials. Finally, the currently achieved activity data are reflected upon, and implications of for avenues of future research activity are identified.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGreen Photo-active Nanomaterials: Sustainable Energy and Environmental Remediation
EditorsNurxat Nuraje, Ramazan Asmatulu, Guido Mul
PublisherRoyal Society of Chemistry
Number of pages38
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-78262-264-2
ISBN (Print)978-1-84973-959-7
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameRSC Green Chemistry
ISSN (Print)17577039
ISSN (Electronic)17577047


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