The Combination of Hydrogen and Methanol Production through Artificial Photosynthesis-Are We Ready Yet?

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Because 100% quantum efficiency for the photosynthetic production of H-2 from H2O under visible illumination has been achieved recently, the oxidation of H2O to O-2 remains the bottleneck to the overall water-splitting reaction. Oxidation of CH4 to CH3OH might be combined with water reduction instead, so that H-2 and CH3OH chemical fuels can be simultaneously produced through a one-step process under solar illumination. This combination would be a promising approach towards a more sustainable future of chemistry, in which developing different strategies for artificial photosynthesis is of paramount importance. By using free and adsorbed HO. radicals on the semiconductor surface, CH4 can be activated to H3C. radicals and converted into CH3OH, respectively, with great selectivity up to 100%. The present lack of efficient photosynthetic systems for the formation of H-2 and CH3OH from abundant H2O and CH4 motivates future research for basic science and industrial applications.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)2654–2672
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • hydroxyl radicals
  • redox chemistry
  • Semiconductors
  • Water splitting

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