Available Technology

Visible Light Photoreduction of CO2 Using Heterostructured Catalysts

Research is currently active on the patented technology "Visible Light Photoreduction of CO2 Using Heterostructured Catalysts." The technology is available for licensing and/or further collaborative research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.
In this invention, small semiconductor particles function as photocatalysts to promote various oxidation and reduction reactions under sunlight through the application of solar energy. Research data indicated a significant new finding for the photocatalytic reuse of carbon dioxide (CO2) or, simply, that the lower energy "tails" of the solar spectrum can be used for this application. As such, the results demonstrated an initial step toward creating more efficient photocatalysts for CO2capture and reuse. The inventors found that titanium dioxide (TiO2) is a promising material for application as a photocatalyst because it is efficient, relatively inexpensive, and environmentally friendly. However, the material’s widespread use has been hindered because it cannot be activated without ultraviolet (UV) light and UV light does not make up a significant amount of the solar spectrum. To overcome the hindrance, the inventors were able to shift the optical response of TiO2from UV to the visible spectral range. Specifically, researchers synthesized new heterostructured photocatalysts made from CdSe nanocrystals, TiO2nanocrystals, and Pt nanoparticles and demonstrated their activity toward the reduction of CO2with H2O using only visible light. No ultraviolet light was required to initiate CO2reduction reaction with H2O, and the value-added products of methanol, methane, and H2were produced. In summary, the photocatalytic reduction of CO2uses readily available sunlight to convert CO2into valuable chemicals, such as methanol or methane, in a carbon friendly manner.
CdSe photosensitizer gives the TiO2 catalyst visible light photoactivity -The photosensitizer is photochemically and thermally stable -It will not degrade -It proved superior to impurity doping methods
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