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ChemSusChem. 2010 Feb 22;3(2):195-208. doi: 10.1002/cssc.200900289.

Towards solar fuels from water and CO2.

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Dipartimento di Chimica Industriale ed Ingegneria dei Materiali, University of Messina and INSTM/CASPE (Laboratory of Catalysis for Sustainable Production and Energy), Salita Sperone 31, 98166 Messina, Italy.


Solar fuels from water and CO2 are a topic of current large scientific and industrial interest. Research advances on bioroutes, concentrated solar thermal and low-temperature conversion using semiconductors and a photoelectrocatalytic (PEC) approach, are critically discussed and compared in an attempt to define challenges and current limits and to identify the priorities on which focus research and development (R&D). The need to produce fuels that are easy to transport and store, which can be integrated into the existing energy infrastructure, is emphasized. The role of solar fuels produced from CO2 in comparison with solar H2 is analyzed. Solar fuels are complementary to solar to electrical energy conversion, but they still need intensified R&D before possible commercialization.

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