High-efficiency photoreduction of CO2 in a low vacuum†
Photoreduction of CO2 into CO, CH4 or hydrocarbons is attractive, due to environmental compatibility and economic feasibility. Optimizing the reaction engineering of CO2 reduction is an effective and general strategy that should be given special consideration. In this article, the photocatalytic CO2 reduction performances are originally investigated in a low vacuum in both dilute (10%) and pure CO2. We discover that the CH4 yield increased above one hundred times as the vacuum degree increased from barometric pressure to −80 kPa in dilute CO2. It also reveals long-term stability and good cycling performance in a low vacuum. The enhanced CO2 photoreduction performance in a low vacuum comes from better accumulation of photogenerated electrons, less intense Brownian movement of gas molecules in the environment and hindrance of the active site-blocking of gas molecules in the environment. Improved photocatalytic CO2 reduction in a low vacuum is further verified by Pt–TiO2 catalysts. This research presents a general route for producing clean fuels by photocatalytic CO2 reduction in a more effective way.