Photocatalytic Hydrogenation of Carbon Dioxide with High Selectivity to Methanol at Atmospheric Pressure
Lu Wang,1,2 Mireille Ghoussoub,2 Hong Wang,2 Yue Shao,2 Wei Sun,2 Athanasios A. Tountas,2 Thomas E. Wood,2 Hai Li,1 Joel Yi Yang Loh,3 Yuchan Dong,2 Meikun Xia,2 Young Li,2 Shenghua Wang,1 Jia Jia,2 Chenyue Qiu,2 Chenxi Qian,2 Nazir P. Kherani,3 Le He,*1 Xiaohong Zhang,*1 and Geoffrey A. Ozin*2
1Institute of Functional Nano & Soft Materials (FUNSOM), Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Carbon-Based Functional Materials & Devices, Soochow University, 199 Ren’ai Road, Suzhou, Jiangsu 215123, People’s Republic of China
2Materials Chemistry and Nanochemistry Research Group, Solar Fuels Cluster, Departments of Chemistry, University of Toronto, 80 St. George Street, Toronto, ON M5S 3H6, Canada
3Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Toronto, 184 College Street, Suite 140, Toronto, ON M5S 3E4, Canada
The production of solar methanol, directly from gaseous CO2 and H2, is important for the development of a sustainable energy economy. Despite growing activity in the field, very few photocatalysts exist that can efficiently and stably hydrogenate gaseous CO2 to methanol at ambient pressure with high selectivity. Here, we report that a defect-laden indium oxide, In2O3-x(OH)y, with a rod-like nanocrystal superstructure, can photocatalyze the hydrogenation of CO2 to methanol with 50% selectivity under simulated solar irradiation. Notably, the solar methanol production of the In2O3-x(OH)y nanocrystal superstructures can be stabilized at a rate of 0.06 mmol gcat-1 h-1 at atmospheric pressure. This is 120 times higher than that of the best-known photocatalysts. This discovery bodes well for the development of a low-pressure solar methanol process using CO2 and renewable H2 feedstocks.