Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2014, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (12): 2177-2196.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB201409303

• REVIEW • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Review of Systems for Photocatalytic Conversion of CO2 to Hydrocarbon Fuels

LAN Ben-Yue, SHI Hai-Feng   

  1. School of Science, Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214122, Jiangsu Province, P. R. China
  • Received:2014-08-03 Revised:2014-09-29 Published:2014-11-27
  • Contact: SHI Hai-Feng
  • Supported by:

    The project was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21203077, 11047118).


Increasing global warming and energy shortage caused by traditional fossil energy combustion to carbon dioxide (CO2) has become a significant global issue in view of humans' continuing development. The photocatalytic reduction of CO2 produced from hydrocarbon fuels using solar light and semiconductor photocatalytic materials could not only decrease the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and thus reduce the greenhouse warming effect, but also provide hydrocarbon fuels to partially alleviate the energy shortage crisis. Hence, the photocatalysis technique has attracted considerable attention in industry and academic areas. In this paper, the fundamental principles of heterogeneous photocatalysis and the recent progress in the photocatalytic reduction of CO2 to hydrocarbon fuels are introduced and reviewed. Based on previous reports in the field of photocatalysis research, the main types of semiconductors capable of photocatalytic reduction of carbon dioxide can be summarized as follows: pure TiO2 photocatalysts, ABO3 perovskite-structured photocatalysts, spinel-structured photocatalysts, doped oxide photocatalysts, composite semiconductor photocatalysts, V-, W-, Ge-, Ga-based photocatalysts, and graphene-based photocatalysts. In addition, the characteristics of various photocatalytic materials and some factors affecting photocatalytic activities are reviewed and analyzed. Finally, the prospects and challenges for developing new photocatalysts for CO2 reduction are presented.

Key words: Photocatalyst, Semiconductor, Carbon dioxide, Reduction, TiO2


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