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ACS Nano. 2010 Mar 23;4(3):1259-78. doi: 10.1021/nn9015423.

Toward solar fuels: photocatalytic conversion of carbon dioxide to hydrocarbons.

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  • 1Department of Electrical Engineering, and Materials Research Institute, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802, USA.


The past several decades have seen a significant rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels resulting from the combustion of hydrocarbon fuels. A solar energy based technology to recycle carbon dioxide into readily transportable hydrocarbon fuel (i.e., a solar fuel) would help reduce atmospheric CO2 levels and partly fulfill energy demands within the present hydrocarbon based fuel infrastructure. We review the present status of carbon dioxide conversion techniques, with particular attention to a recently developed photocatalytic process to convert carbon dioxide and water vapor into hydrocarbon fuels using sunlight.

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