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Proceedings Paper

Catalytic conversion of carbon dioxide to methanol and higher order alcohols at a photoelectrochemical interface
Author(s): Kate Keets; Amanda Morris; Elizabeth Zeitler; Prasad Lakkaraju; Andrew Bocarsly
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Paper 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.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 August 2010
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 7770, Solar Hydrogen and Nanotechnology V, 77700R (24 August 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.860024
Show Author Affiliations
Kate Keets, Princeton Univ. (United States)
Amanda Morris, Princeton Univ. (United States)
Elizabeth Zeitler, Princeton Univ. (United States)
Prasad Lakkaraju, Princeton Univ. (United States)
Andrew Bocarsly, Princeton Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7770:
Solar Hydrogen and Nanotechnology V
Hicham Idriss; Heli Wang, Editor(s)

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