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24 August 2010 Catalytic conversion of carbon dioxide to methanol and higher order alcohols at a photoelectrochemical interface
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Abstract
There is increasing interest in photochemical schemes for converting CO2 into a useful product as a means of mitigating atmospheric levels of this gas. Although photoelectrochemical schemes have been considered for this application, typically very high overpotentials are observed, and thus, semiconductor-electrolyte interfaces have not been observed to actually convert light energy to chemical energy in the aqueous CO2 redox system. We report here on a catalytic system that efficiently converts CO2 to methanol and other alcohols. The system couples a III-V p-type semiconductor electrode with a pyridinium catalyst. The conversion of CO2 to alcohols can be driven solely with light to yield faradaic efficiencies approaching 100% at potentials well below the thermodynamic potential. Mechanistic studies on the formation of methanol indicate that the observed six-electron reduction occurs via a series of one electron reductions mediated by pyridinium.
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Kate Keets, Amanda Morris, Elizabeth Zeitler, Prasad Lakkaraju, and Andrew Bocarsly "Catalytic conversion of carbon dioxide to methanol and higher order alcohols at a photoelectrochemical interface", Proc. SPIE 7770, Solar Hydrogen and Nanotechnology V, 77700R (24 August 2010); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.860024
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