Decarbonization Avenue : C2V - CO2 to Value

In fact

Breakthrough in Decomposing CO2 With High Efficiency Using Sunlight

One promising strategy for CO2 to value is to chemically break down, or ‘reduce,’ CO2 using photocatalysts — compounds that absorb light energy and provide it to reactions, speeding them up. With this strategy, the solar powered reduction of CO2, where no other artificial source of energy is used, becomes possible.

Photocatalysis however has been suffering from low efficiencies.

A team of scientists led by Drs. Shinji Kawasaki and Yosuke Ishii from Nagoya Institute of Technology, Japan, has been at the forefront of efforts to achieve efficient solar-energy-assisted CO2 reduction.

The photoexcited electron from silver iodide (AgI) travels along the carbon nanotube to silver iodate (AgIO3) where carbon dioxide (CO2) is reduced to carbon monoxide (CO). Their research began with the need to solve the limited applicability problem of silver iodate (AgIO3), a photocatalyst that has attracted considerable attention for being useful for the CO2 reduction reaction.

The problem is that AgIO3 needs much higher energy than that which visible light can provide to function as an efficient photocatalyst; and visible light is the majority of solar radiation.

“We have now developed a new photocatalyst that incorporates single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) with AgIO3 and AgI to form a three-component composite catalyst,” says Dr. Kawasaki, “The role of the SWCNTs is multimodal. It solves both the synthesis and the electron transfer pathway problems.”

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