Tunable syngas production from photocatalytic CO2 reduction with mitigated charge recombination driven by spatially separated cocatalysts†
Photocatalytic CO2 reduction represents a sustainable route to generate syngas (the mixture of CO and H2), which is a key feedstock to produce liquid fuels in industry. Yet this reaction typically suffers from two limitations: unsuitable CO/H2 ratio and serious charge recombination. This paper describes the production of syngas from photocatalytic CO2 reduction with a tunable CO/H2 ratio via adjustment of the components and surface structure of CuPt alloys and construction of a TiO2 mesoporous hollow sphere with spatially separated cocatalysts to promote charge separation. Unlike previously reported cocatalyst-separated hollow structures, we firstly create a reductive outer surface that is suitable for the CO2 reduction reaction. A high evolution rate of 84.2 μmol h−1 g−1 for CO and a desirable CO/H2 ratio of 1 : 2 are achieved. The overall solar energy conversion yield is 0.108%, which is higher than those of traditional oxide and sulfide based catalysts (generally about 0.006–0.042%). Finally, density functional theory calculations and kinetic experiments by replacing H2O with D2O reveal that the enhanced activity is mainly determined by the reduction energy of CO* and can be affected by the stability of COOH*.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2018 Chemical Science HOT Article Collection