In situ DRIFTS study of photocatalytic CO 2 reduction under UV irradiation

Jeffrey C.S. Wu, Chao Wei Huang

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Photocatalytic reduction of CO 2 on TiO 2 and Cu/TiO 2 photocatalysts was studied by in situ diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy (DRIFTS) under UV irradiation. The photocatalysts were prepared by sol-gel method via controlled hydrolysis of titanium (IV) butoxide. Copper precursor was loaded onto TiO 2 during sol-gel procedure. A large amount of adsorbed H 2O and surface OH groups was detected at 25°C on the TiO 2 photocatalyst after being treated at 500°C under air stream. Carbonate and bicarbonate were formed rapidly due to the reaction of CO 2 with oxygen-vacancy and OH groups, respectively, on TiO 2 surface upon CO 2 adsorption. The IR spectra indicated that, under UV irradiation, gas-phase CO 2 further combined with oxygen-vacancy and OH groups to produce more carbonate or bicarbonate. The weak signals of reaction intermediates were found on the IR spectra, which were due to the slow photocatalytic CO 2 reduction on photocatalysts. Photogenerated electrons merge with H + ions to form H atoms, which progressively reduce CO 2 to form formic acid, dioxymethylene, formaldehyde and methoxy as observed in the IR spectra. The well-dispersed Cu, acting as the active site significantly increases the amount of formaldehyde and dioxymethylene, thus promotes the photoactivity of CO 2 reduction on Cu/TiO 2. A possible mechanism of the photocatalytic CO 2 reduction is proposed based on these intermediates and products on the photocatalysts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-126
Number of pages7
JournalFrontiers of Chemical Engineering in China
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jun

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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