Chemical Valorisation of Carbon Dioxide
Chapter 12: Artificial Photosynthesis for Production of Solar Fuels and Chemicals
Published:19 Dec 2022
Conversion of solar energy into electric and ultimately chemical energy is undoubtedly a very attractive solution for the global energy problem. Artificial photosynthesis provides a highly promising approach to solve the energy gap problem since it aims to match or even outperform the natural photosynthesis process in efficiencies of solar energy conversion into chemicals and fuel. Concomitantly, it provides a technological solution for mitigation of climate change through the design and development of systems for direct conversion of CO2 into renewable fuels and chemicals. Efficient artificial photosynthesis systems assemblies rely on the perfect functional match of molecular assemblies capable of absorbing the wide spectrum of sunlight, converting solar energy into electrochemical potential energy and ultimately, transforming it into storable chemical energy. This is not a trivial task since light-harvesting, charge separation and charge transfer should be finely controlled at each step of the conversion process to reach the highest efficiencies. Here, the concept of artificial photosynthesis, its underlying molecular principles, critical bottlenecks to overcome and major advancements in the field are critically overviewed with the emphasis on the best performing photoelectrochemical CO2 conversion systems based on inorganic, synthetic, biomolecular, and biological assemblies.