Photocatalytic CO2 reduction

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Department of Materials Science and Engineering


Using sunlight to power CO2 conversion into value-added chemicals and fuels is a promising technology to use anthropogenic CO2 emissions for alleviating our dependence on fossil fuels. In this Primer, we provide a holistic step-by-step guide for the experimentation of photocatalytic CO2 reduction, including catalyst synthesis and characterization, reactor construction, photocatalytic testing and mechanism exploration. We compare and analyse the state-of-the-art results with different photocatalysts and discuss possible reaction mechanisms. Furthermore, important considerations regarding practical application of photocatalytic CO2 reduction are highlighted and strategies to enhance energy conversion efficiency and product selectivity are summarized. This Primer also reveals current issues of reproducibility, standardizes data reporting and proposes a unified operation condition. Finally, future directions are outlined in terms of experiments, calculations, big-data development and practical application.

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Nature Reviews Methods Primers