Development of Photocatalysts for Solar CO2 Reduction Utilizing H2O as an Electron Donor and a Proton Source

Principal Investigator

Takeshi MORIKAWA (Laboratory Manager & Senior Fellow, Toyota Central Research and Development Labs., Inc.)

Outline of the Project

We will develop a highly efficient artificial-photosynthetic system operating under solar irradiation, which reduces CO2 to C1-chemicals such as CO and HCOOH using H2O as an electron donor and a proton source. The target conversion efficiency for solar-to-chemical energy is 1.0 %, which is the same or more than those for solar hydrogen generation by splitting water over semiconductor photocatalysts.  For the present purpose, we will make use of the concept for semiconductor/metal-complex hybrid photocatalysts, in which semiconductor photosensitizers and metal-complex catalysts for CO2 reduction are functionally conjugated. Based on the concept which we developed in 2010, the present solar conversion efficiency of 0.04 % should be improved by 25 times.

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