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Conversion of CO2 to Hydrocarbon Fuels

Page history last edited by Malcolm 11 years, 7 months ago

High-Rate Solar Photocatalytic Conversion of CO2 and Water Vapor to Hydrocarbon Fuels


Oomman K. Varghese, Maggie Paulose, Thomas J. LaTempa and Craig A. Grimes*
Department of Electrical Engineering, Materials Research Institute, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802
Nano Lett., 2009, 9 (2), pp 731–737
DOI: 10.1021/nl803258p
Publication Date (Web): January 27, 2009
Copyright © 2009 American Chemical Society


Abstract Image

Efficient solar conversion of carbon dioxide and water vapor to methane and other hydrocarbons is achieved using nitrogen-doped titania nanotube arrays, with a wall thickness low enough to facilitate effective carrier transfer to the adsorbing species, surface-loaded with nanodimensional islands of cocatalysts platinum and/or copper. All experiments are conducted in outdoor sunlight at University Park, PA. Intermediate reaction products, hydrogen and carbon monoxide, are also detected with their relative concentrations underlying hydrocarbon production rates and dependent upon the nature of the cocatalysts on the nanotube array surface. Using outdoor global AM 1.5 sunlight, 100 mW/cm2, a hydrocarbon production rate of 111 ppm cm−2 h−1, or ≈160 μL/(g h), is obtained when the nanotube array samples are loaded with both Cu and Pt nanoparticles. This rate of CO2 to hydrocarbon production obtained under outdoor sunlight is at least 20 times higher than previous published reports, which were conducted under laboratory conditions using UV illumination.

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