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Recent Advances in Carbon Dioxide Conversion: A Circular Bioeconomy Perspective


Managing the concentration of atmospheric CO2 requires a multifaceted engineering strategy, which remains a highly challenging task. Reducing atmospheric CO2 (CO2R) by converting it to value-added chemicals in a carbon neutral footprint manner must be the ultimate goal. The latest progress in CO2R through either abiotic (artificial catalysts) or biotic (natural enzymes) processes is reviewed herein. Abiotic CO2R can be conducted in the aqueous phase that usually leads to the formation of a mixture of CO, formic acid, and hydrogen. By contrast, a wide spectrum of hydrocarbon species is often observed by abiotic CO2R in the gaseous phase. On the other hand, biotic CO2R is often conducted in the aqueous phase and a wide spectrum of value-added chemicals are obtained. Key to the success of the abiotic process is understanding the surface chemistry of catalysts, which significantly governs the reactivity and selectivity of CO2R. However, in biotic CO2R, operation conditions and reactor design are crucial to reaching a neutral carbon footprint. Future research needs to look toward neutral or even negative carbon footprint CO2R processes. Having a deep insight into the scientific and technological aspect of both abiotic and biotic CO2R would advance in designing efficient catalysts and microalgae farming systems. Integrating the abiotic and biotic CO2R such as microbial fuel cells further diversifies the spectrum of CO2R.

Funding source: Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) of Taiwan (ROC), under grant number MOST 107-2113-M-007-005-MY2 and 106-2221-E-992-302-MY3, for the financial support. Additional support was provided by the U.S. National Science Foundation through trough NSF grant IOA 1632899 to CPH. H.K. was supported by the Basic Study and Interdisciplinary R&D Foundation Fund of the University of Seoul (2020).
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways

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