Analysing the Products of Carbon Dioxide Reduction

Polly-Anna Ashford is a guest web writer for Analytical Methods. She is currently a PhD student at the University of East Anglia, UK.

Analysis of gas and liquid phase photoreduction products

Analysis of gas and liquid phase photoreduction products

Carbon dioxide produced by combustion of fossil fuels can potentially be removed from the atmosphere using an abundant carbon-neutral form of energy: sunlight. Photocatalytic reduction is a promising strategy for CO2 conversion, but controlling the reaction pathways can be difficult. Identification and isolation of the range of reduction products provides a way of evaluating the efficiency of different photocatalysts.

In this minireview, Rong Xu and researchers at the Nanyang Technological University examine different analytical methods for these conversion products.  They compare a range of GC, HPLC and other chromatographic systems for separation of compounds including alcohols, aldehydes, carboxylic acids and small hydrocarbons. Moreover, they apply their findings to a new set of techniques for accurate detection of CO2 reduction products with low detection limits, employing a combination of GC and HPLC.

In a useful addition to the study, the authors also investigated the effects of organic additives such as solvents and photosensitisers on these analytical methods.

Photocatalytic reduction of CO2: a brief review on product analysis and systematic methods
Jindui Hong, Wei Zhang, Jia Ren and Rong Xu
Anal. Methods, 2013,5, 1086-1097
DOI: 10.1039/C2AY26270C

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