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Photocatalytic Reduction of Carbon Dioxide: Issues and Prospects

[ Vol. 5 , Issue. 2 ]


Hariprasad Narayanan, Balasubramanian Viswanathan and Suguna Yesodharan   Pages 79 - 107 ( 29 )


Background: The conversion of carbon dioxide into worthwhile chemicals through photo-catalysis has been a matter of attraction for the last four decades among the scientific community. However, the conversion rate has not yet been achieved to the desired efficiency due to the inevitable barriers associated with the process making it as a Holy Grail. This presentation deals with the identification and critical evaluation of the hurdles that pulls back the photocatalytic processes on track and the recent advances in the scientific field that pertain to the photocatalytic conversion of carbon dioxide in the near future.

Methods: We explored the content of more than 200 original research articles that are relevant to the desired topic and extracted the current knowledge on the so called photo-catalytic reduction of carbon dioxide. We have approached all the articles in a perspective way rather than a word to word recent advances in the field and found out the major limitations that have to be rectified.

Results: The issues related to the state-of-the-art of carbon dioxide reduction are described in separate sections in detail. Mechanistic aspects should to be revisited with the help of advanced instrumentation facilities. Major problem associated is finding the appropriate material, hence efficient material should be engineered to overcome the high energy barrier associated with the reduction process. Product analysis as well as efficiency determination are highly susceptible to errors. It is very difficult to compare the work produced by any two labs between each other!

Conclusion: There are so many hurdles associated invariably with the photocatalytic carbon dioxide reduction process which must be rectified in order to create an energy, sustainable society using direct sunlight as a primary energy source just as plants do. It could happen only by the collaborative research effort from various groups, irrespective of the implicit bias among the scientific community.


Carbon Dioxide Reduction, Photocatalysis, Semiconductor, Artificial Photosynthesis, Solar Energy, Issues.


National Centre for Catalysis Research, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai-600036, India.

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