Chapter 14: Plasmonic Photoreactors for Photocatalytic CO2 Conversion
Published:19 Dec 2022
A. Navarrete, R. R. Solís, and M. J. Muñoz-Batista, in Chemical Valorisation of Carbon Dioxide, ed. G. Stefanidis and A. Stankiewicz, The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2022, ch. 14, pp. 308-331.
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Ideally, we should follow the example of nature when transforming CO2 and collect solar energy for its chemical conversion into added-value products. The light confinement and tunable wavelength absorption of plasmonic materials makes them an attractive option for photocatalysis; however, flexible and scalable reactors are needed for their wide application. The plasmonic microreactor concept is a tool to not only efficiently harvest light but also tune the thermodynamic state of the reacting mixture. This reactor concept integrates three functions: (1) efficient light transmission through composites based on transparent Aerogels, (2) local activation of the composites with visual light, and (3) integrate the composites and glass microchannels in order to create a “single entity” providing at the same time high surface illumination to the reactor. This chapter first looks into the thermodynamic limits of the photocatalytic conversions, and their connection to the reactor design and modelling. Then, an introduction to the plasmonic photoreactor concept, its assembly and use is given. A reminder of the synthesis and applications of plasmonic materials for the photoreduction of CO2 is also presented. Finally, we present our conclusions and suggest future extension of the concept to operando operation and to the use of metamaterials (metareactors).