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Annu Rev Phys Chem. 2012;63:541-69. doi: 10.1146/annurev-physchem-032511-143759. Epub 2012 Jan 30.

Photochemical and photoelectrochemical reduction of CO2.

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Materials Science and Engineering Program, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, 92093, USA.


The recent literature on photochemical and photoelectrochemical reductions of CO(2) is reviewed. The different methods of achieving light absorption, electron-hole separation, and electrochemical reduction of CO(2) are considered. Energy gap matching for reduction of CO(2) to different products, including CO, formic acid, and methanol, is used to identify the most promising systems. Different approaches to lowering overpotentials and achieving high chemical selectivities by employing catalysts are described and compared.

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