Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University, 800 E. Leigh St., Richmond, Virginia, United States of America
Nano-Micro Conference, 2017, 1, 01047
Published Online: 27 October 2017 (Abstract)
The continuous reliance on fossil fuel-based energy is inevitable. Rational strategies to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are thus highly demanded. Developing efficient photocatalysts that can harness solar energy appears to be a promising methodology to capture and recycle CO2 as a fuel feedstock. The conversion efficiency of the current photocatalysts, however, is generally very low due to various limiting factors, such as fast electron-hole recombination rates, narrow light absorption range, and backward reactions. Thus, developing strategies to overcome the above limitations is an important task in this field.
Here we present several strategies through controlled synthesis to address the aforementioned limitations toward enhancing the overall CO2 conversion efficiency. Examples of novel photocatalysts being explored include mesoporous nanocomposite particles (i.e., Cu-TiO2-SiO2) [1,2], 1D structured Pt-TiO2 thin films , CuO-ZnO heterojunction nanowires , and crumpled graphene-based nanoballs [5,6]. Systematic materials characterization and photocatalysis analysis of the materials, by electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, gas chromatography, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, in-situ diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy, and femtosecond time-resolved transient absorption spectroscopy, aid in understanding the quantitative CO2 photoreduction pathways and the correlations between materials properties and CO2 photoreduction performance.
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 Y. Li; W.N. Wang; Z.L. Zhan; M.H. Woo; C.Y. Wu; P. Biswas, Photocatalytic reduction of CO2 with H2O on mesoporous silica supported Cu/TiO2 catalysts. Applied Catalysis B: Environmental. 100, 386-392 (2010). doi:10.1016/j.apcatb.2010.08.015
 Wei-Ning Wang; Woo-Jin An; Balavinayagam Ramalingam; Somik Mukherjee; Dariusz M. Niedzwiedzki; Shubhra Gangopadhyay; Pratim Biswas, Size and structure matter: enhanced CO2 photoreduction efficiency by size-resolved ultrafine Pt nanoparticles on TiO2 single crystals. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 134, 11276-11281 (2012). doi:10.1021/ja304075b
 Wei-Ning Wang; Fei Wu; Yoon Myung; Dariusz M. Niedzwiedzki; Hyung Soon Im; Jeunghee Park; Parag Banerjee; Pratim Biswas, Surface engineered CuO nanowires with ZnO islands for CO2 photoreduction. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. 7, 5685-5692 (2015). doi:10.1021/am508590j
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 Y. Nie; W. N. Wang; Y. Jiang; J. Fortner; P. Biswas, Crumpled reduced graphene oxide-amine-titanium dioxide nanocomposites for simultaneous carbon dioxide adsorption and photoreduction. Catalysis Science & Technology. 6, 6187-6196 (2016). doi:10.1039/C6CY00828C
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