In order to reduce CO 2 emissions and utilise CO 2 as a useful by-product, artificial photosynthesis is being explored for carbon capture and utilisation. Semiconductor photocatalysts excited by solar energy may be used to convert CO 2 to fuels or useful chemicals, e.g. CO, CH 4, CH 3OH. The photocatalytic reduction of CO 2 to useful products has been widely studied in order to overcome the greenhouse effect and the current energy necessities. However, this reaction has proved to be extremely low efficiency when compared to other processes. In order to improve these yields, photoelectrochemical reduction of CO 2 has been considered, since it combines photocatalysis and electrocatalysis. To this end, a two compartment photoelectrochemical cell (PEC) has been designed and fabricated for the reduction of CO 2. This custom built reactor consists of dual phases, where gas phase CO 2 is feed into the cathode compartment and an aqueous phase in the anode compartment. The anode and cathodes for a sandwich were the anode perforated foil on exposing aligned titania nanotubes to electrolyte bonded to nafion; which forms a bridge to Pt deposited carbon cloth cathode electrode in gas phase compartment. CO 2 reduction products were detected with GC connected to the reactor. The PEC reactor improved the yield and the formal quantum efficiency compared to our previous studies using photocatalytic reactors.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We wish to thank DfE for funding under the US-Ireland R&D Collaborative Partnership Program in collaboration with Northwestern University and Tyndall National Institute, NSF (CBET-1438721), SFI (SFI 14/US/E2915) and DfE (USI065). We would also wish to thank the financial support from British Council under the STREAM-MENA Institutional Links Scheme (Grant number 278072873).
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- CO reduction