Artificial Photosynthesis: Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Reduction for the Production of Fuels (year 2014 --)

Dr. Lele Duan and Licheng Sun

The conversion of carbon dioxide (CO2) to fuels (such as CO2 to CO, CH3OH and CH4 etc.) by using solar energy, the so-called artificial photosynthesis, is an attractive approach that can reduce the greenhouse effect and eventually solve the energy crisis. One of the challenges that obstacle the application of artificial photosynthesis remains on the discovery of efficient, robust and affordable CO2 reduction catalysts. Although handful CO2 reduction catalysts have been developed during the past decades, those catalysts generally suffer low stability for long term application. In addition, for the practical use a device has to be prepared to convert CO2 to fuels. It has been reported that immobilization of molecular catalysts on the electrode surface significantly increases the durability of catalysts. By doing so, catalysts can be immobilized on the electrode surface and provide active electrodes for fuel production. In this project, we would like to synthesize a few transition metal based molecular catalysts, immobilize these catalysts on the carbon nanotube and fabricate electrodes for CO2 reduction.

If you are interested in this project, please contact in the Sun group:

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