Solar fuels and feedstocks: the quest for renewable black gold
Photocatalysis for organic synthesis is a tool capable of C–C, C–O and C–N bond transformations. This technology has the potential to transform the chemical manufacturing industry and support growing demand for chemical feedstocks. Compared to traditional catalysis, photocatalysis can access alternative reaction pathways that lower the overall energy requirement and operate at or near ambient conditions. A key challenge is the delivery of photoenergy at the scale required for rapid and efficient operation of the catalyst. The development of efficient, broad-spectrum light harvesting devices that funnel light energy to a catalyst, along with catalyst design to selectively enable high-energy reactions, are necessary steps towards solar fuels and feedstocks. This perspective highlights some recent advances in photocatalysis and advocates for expanding the scope of photocatalysis for large-scale industrial applications.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2021 Energy and Environmental Science Review Articles